Passive attic ventilation is just heat escaping the attic space without the aid of mechanical or wind induced low pressure. Hot air rises and is replaced by cooler air. The attic space is warmed by either warm air escaping the heated living area, and/or by the sun and heat radiating through the roofing. This heat will naturally rise to the top of the attic and escape through any open holes or vents in the roof.
The video below shows the path of that heat and how it is released from the attic space. For this demonstration the roof is vented with ridge venting, gable vents at either end of the roof, and a round static vent (a simulated powered roof vent) installed at the center of the roof just below the ridge. The power vent is not operational until hooked up to a vacuum source in a separate video demonstration. The living space, the ceiling of the home, is sealed so no air is leaking into the attic. All the air replacing the vented hot air comes from the eave/overhang soffit vents.