Workshop on Information Engines at the Frontiers of Nanoscale Thermodynamics
Technical Report,03 Aug 2017,02 Aug 2018
Telluride Science Research Center Telluride United States
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Synthetic nanoscale machines, like their macromolecular biological counterparts, perform tasks that involve the simultaneous manipulation of energy, information, and matter. In this they are information enginessystems with two inextricably intertwined characters. The first aspect, call it physical, is the one in which the systemseen embedded in a material substrateis driven by, manipulates, stores, and dissipates energy. The second aspect, call it informational, is the one in which the systemseen in terms of its spatial and temporal organizationgenerates, stores, loses, and transforms information. Information engines operate by synergistically balancing both aspects to support a given functionality, such as extracting work from a heat reservoir. Recent years witnessed remarkable progress in the theoretical understanding and experimental exploration of how physical systems compute, process, and transfer information. We are on the verge of a synthesis that will allow us to account for a new thermodynamics of information. As we continue to develop a deeper understanding of the world around us, the fundamental question arises, how does nature compute Numerous researchers, both theorists and experimentalists, are working towards understanding how information is transferred through and transformed at the nanoscalewith applications ranging from biological systems to nanomechanical and quantum devices. For example, it is a well accepted fact that information is transferred through living cells, but only recently have scientists started to probe the exact mechanism through which this process occurs. On a larger scale, there are many open questions about the information thermodynamics in biological systems consisting of many cells or large cell networks.