Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Experimental verification of Landauer's principle linking information and thermodynamics.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Nature
1476-4687
Publisher
Nature Publishing Group
Publication Date
Volume
483
Issue
7388
Pages
187–189
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1038/nature10872
PMID: 22398556
Source
Medline

Abstract

In 1961, Rolf Landauer argued that the erasure of information is a dissipative process. A minimal quantity of heat, proportional to the thermal energy and called the Landauer bound, is necessarily produced when a classical bit of information is deleted. A direct consequence of this logically irreversible transformation is that the entropy of the environment increases by a finite amount. Despite its fundamental importance for information theory and computer science, the erasure principle has not been verified experimentally so far, the main obstacle being the difficulty of doing single-particle experiments in the low-dissipation regime. Here we experimentally show the existence of the Landauer bound in a generic model of a one-bit memory. Using a system of a single colloidal particle trapped in a modulated double-well potential, we establish that the mean dissipated heat saturates at the Landauer bound in the limit of long erasure cycles. This result demonstrates the intimate link between information theory and thermodynamics. It further highlights the ultimate physical limit of irreversible computation.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.

Statistics

Seen <100 times
0 Comments