Waiting for Landauer

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (3):184-198 (2011)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Landauer's Principle asserts that there is an unavoidable cost in thermodynamic entropy creation when data is erased. It is usually derived from incorrect assumptions, most notably, that erasure must compress the phase space of a memory device or that thermodynamic entropy arises from the probabilistic uncertainty of random data. Recent work seeks to prove Landauer’s Principle without using these assumptions. I show that the processes assumed in the proof, and in the thermodynamics of computation more generally, can be combined to produce devices that both violate the second law and erase data without entropy cost, indicating an inconsistency in the theoretical system. Worse, the standard repertoire of processes selectively neglects thermal fluctuations. Concrete proposals for how we might measure dissipationlessly and expand single molecule gases reversibly are shown to be fatally disrupted by fluctuations. Reversible, isothermal processes on molecular scales are shown to be disrupted by fluctuations that can only be overcome by introducing entropy creating, dissipative processes.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,649

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

On Waiting.Harold Schweizer - 2008 - Routledge.
Jung, C. G., Seelenprobleme der Gegenwart. [REVIEW]Landauer Landauer - 1932 - Studies in Philosophy and Social Science 1:167.
Lange-Eichbaum, W., Das Genieproblem. [REVIEW]Landauer Landauer - 1932 - Studies in Philosophy and Social Science 1:425.
Messer, August, Sozialethik. [REVIEW]Landauer Landauer - 1932 - Studies in Philosophy and Social Science 1:424.
Reich, Wilhelm, Massenpsychologie des Faschismus. [REVIEW]Landauer Landauer - 1934 - Studies in Philosophy and Social Science 3:106.
Rothe, Carl, Die Front der Gewerkschaften. [REVIEW]Landauer Landauer - 1933 - Studies in Philosophy and Social Science 2:124.
Hartmann, Heinz, Psychoanalyse Und Weltanschauung.Landauer Landauer - 1935 - Studies in Philosophy and Social Science 4:117.
Reik, Theodor, Nachdenkliche Heiterkeit.Landauer Landauer - 1935 - Studies in Philosophy and Social Science 4:117.
Psycho-analysis Today. Edited by Sandor Lorand. [REVIEW]Landauer Landauer - 1934 - Studies in Philosophy and Social Science 3:281.

Analytics

Added to PP
2010-12-10

Downloads
109 (#112,908)

6 months
4 (#172,905)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

John D. Norton
University of Pittsburgh

Citations of this work

The Physics of Implementing Logic: Landauer's Principle and the Multiple-Computations Theorem.Meir Hemmo & Orly Shenker - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 68:90-105.
Infinite Idealizations.John D. Norton - 2012 - Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 17:197-210.
The Worst Thought Experiment.John D. Norton - 2018 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. Routledge.

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Ignorance and Indifference.John D. Norton - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (1):45-68.
Cosmic Confusions: Not Supporting Versus Supporting Not.John D. Norton - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (4):501-523.
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.
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.

View all 14 references / Add more references