Thermodynamics with Continuous Information Flow

March 22, 2015

In the absence of anything of consequence to say about my own work, the post re-blogged below from John Baez’s ‘Azimuth’ blog is worth reading in tandem with the post I made here last year regarding Alexandre De Castro’s paper on one-wayness in a Bennett’s thermodynamic engine:- https://unitambo.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/one-way-trapdoor-permutation-of-a-bennetts-turing-machine/

Azimuth

guest post by Blake S. Pollard

Over a century ago James Clerk Maxwell created a thought experiment that has helped shape our understanding of the Second Law of Thermodynamics: the law that says entropy can never decrease.

Maxwell’s proposed experiment was simple. Suppose you had a box filled with an ideal gas at equilibrium at some temperature. You stick in an insulating partition, splitting the box into two halves. These two halves are isolated from one another except for one important caveat: somewhere along the partition resides a being capable of opening and closing a door, allowing gas particles to flow between the two halves. This being is also capable of observing the velocities of individual gas particles. Every time a particularly fast molecule is headed towards the door the being opens it, letting fly into the other half of the box. When a slow particle heads towards the door…

View original post 2,376 more words

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