Beyond Landauer erasure

Barnett, S.M. and Vaccaro, J. (2013) Beyond Landauer erasure. Entropy, 15(11), pp. 4956-4968. (doi:10.3390/e15114956)

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Abstract

In thermodynamics, one considers thermal systems and the maximization of entropy subject to the conservation of energy. A consequence is Landauer’s erasure principle, which states that the erasure of one bit of information requires a minimum energy cost equal to kT ln(2), where T is the temperature of a thermal reservoir used in the process and k is Boltzmann’s constant. Jaynes, however, argued that the maximum entropy principle could be applied to any number of conserved quantities, which would suggest that information erasure may have alternative costs. Indeed, we showed recently that by using a reservoir comprising energy degenerate spins and subject to conservation of angular momentum, the cost of information erasure is in terms of angular momentum rather than energy. Here, we extend this analysis and derive the minimum cost of information erasure for systems where different conservation laws operate. We find that, for each conserved quantity, the minimum resource needed to erase one bit of memory is λ-1 ln(2), where λ is related to the average value of the conserved quantity. The costs of erasure depend, fundamentally, on both the nature of the physical memory element and the reservoir with which it is coupled.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barnett, Professor Stephen
Authors: Barnett, S.M., and Vaccaro, J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Entropy
Publisher:MDPI
ISSN:1099-4300
ISSN (Online):1099-4300
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The Authors
First Published:First published in Entropy 15(11):4956-4968
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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