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Shakin' All Over: Proving Landauer's principle without neglect of fluctuations

Myrvold, Wayne C. (2020) Shakin' All Over: Proving Landauer's principle without neglect of fluctuations. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Landauer's principle is, roughly, the principle that there is an entropic cost associated with implementation of logically irreversible operations. Though widely accepted in the literature on the thermodynamics of computation, it has been the subject of considerable dispute in the philosophical literature. Both the cogency of proofs of the principle and its relevance, should it be true, have been questioned. In particular, it has been argued that microscale fluctuations entail dissipation that always greatly exceeds the Landauer bound. In this article Landauer's principle is treated within statistical mechanics, and a proof is given that neither relies on neglect of fluctuations nor assumes the availability of thermodynamically reversible processes. In addition, it is argued that microscale fluctuations are no obstacle to approximating thermodynamic reversibility as closely as one would like.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Myrvold, Wayne C.wmyrvold@uwo.ca
Keywords: Landauer's principle; thermodynamics; entropy; statistical mechanics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Computation/Information
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Wayne Myrvold
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2020 02:49
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2020 02:49
Item ID: 17610
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Computation/Information
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Date: July 2020
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17610

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