Direct Thermodynamic Measurements of the Energetics of Information Processing
Technical Report,15 Aug 2015,16 Feb 2017
California Institute of Technology Pasadena United States
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The relation between thermodynamic processes out of equilibrium and information processing has been under intense investigation in the last few years. In part, this interest has been driven by the emergence of fluctuation theories FTs 1, 2. It is widely assumed from various thought experiments that informational processes that do not preserve bit number i.e., non-reversible computation must have thermodynamic repercussions 3. The most basic of these, first stated by Landauer, is formulated for binary logic systems specifically, on average, erasure of each bit is accompanied by dissipation of energy. This dissipation should be manifested as additional heat transferred to the environmental bath into which the bit thermalizes. However, no measurement has ever been made of this heat. This project focuses upon the pursuit of such a measurement.