Landauer defended: Reply to Norton

Abstract

Ladyman, Presnell, and Short proposed a model of the implementation of logical operations by physical processes in order to clarify the exact statement of Landauer's Principle, and then offered a new proof of the latter based on the construction of a thermodynamic cycle, arguing that if Landauer's Principle were false it would be possible to harness a machine that violated it to produce a violation of the second law of thermodynamics. In a recent paper in this journal, John Norton directly challenges the consistency of that proof. In the present paper we defend the proof given by Ladyman et al. against his critique. In particular, contrary to what Norton claims, we argue that the processes used in the proof cannot be used to construct a cycle that enacts erasure in a thermodynamically reversible way, and that he does not show that the processes used in the proof violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics

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References found in this work

Bluff Your Way in the Second Law of Thermodynamics.Jos Uffink - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (3):305-394.
Exorcist XIV: The Wrath of Maxwell’s Demon. Part I. From Maxwell to Szilard.John Earman & John D. Norton - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 29 (4):435-471.
Eaters of the Lotus: Landauer's Principle and the Return of Maxwell's Demon.John D. Norton - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (2):375-411.
Waiting for Landauer.John D. Norton - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (3):184-198.
Notes on Landauer's Principle, Reversible Computation, and Maxwell's Demon.Charles H. Bennett - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 34 (3):501-510.

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