Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Waiting for Landauer
John D. Norton
University of Pittsburgh, Center for Philosophy of Science and
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning
Abstract: Landauer's Principle asserts that there is an unavoidable cost in thermodynamic entropy when data are erased. It is sometimes deduced from a version of the second law of thermodynamics or it is posited as a way of protecting the law from violation by a Maxwell's demon. Yet the standard processes assumed in the thermodynamics of computation can be combined to produce devices that both violate the second law and erase data without entropy cost, indicating an inconsistency in the standard system. In addition, the standard repertoire of processes is suspect for its selectively neglecting fluctuation phenomena.