Thermodynamics of information

  title={Thermodynamics of information},
  author={Juan Manuel Rodr{\'i}guez Parrondo and Jordan M. Horowitz and Takahiro Sagawa},
  journal={Nature Physics},
By its very nature, the second law of thermodynamics is probabilistic, in that its formulation requires a probabilistic description of the state of a system. This raises questions about the objectivity of the second law: does it depend, for example, on what we know about the system? For over a century, much effort has been devoted to incorporating information into thermodynamics and assessing the entropic and energetic costs of manipulating information. More recently, this historically… 
Thermodynamics from Information
Thermodynamics and information have intricate inter-relations. The justification of the fact that information is physical, is done by inter-linking information and thermodynamics – through Landauer’s
Bayesian second law of thermodynamics.
A generalization of the second law of thermodynamics is derived that uses Bayesian updates to explicitly incorporate the effects of a measurement of a system at some point in its evolution, resolving a tension between the fact that the entropy of a statistical system can sometimes fluctuate downward and the information-theoretic idea that knowledge of a stochastically evolving system degrades over time.
Stochastic thermodynamics of computation
  • D. Wolpert
  • Physics
    Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
  • 2019
The results reveal new, challenging engineering problems for how to design computers to have minimal thermodynamic costs and allow us to start to combine computer science theory and stochastic thermodynamics at a foundational level, thereby expanding both.
Maxwell’s Demon, Szilard Engine and Landauer Principle
The second law of thermodynamics is probabilistic in nature. Its formulation requires that the state of a system be described by a probability distribution. A natural question, thereby, arises as to
Evolution in thermodynamics
This review covers two aspects of “evolution” in thermodynamics. First, with the constructal law, thermodynamics is becoming the domain of physics that accounts for the phenomenon of evolution in
The Equivalence of Free Energy and Information: Thermodynamic Descriptions as a Condition of Possibility of Objectivity
The aim of this work is to present the advancements in physics over the past few decades along with the proper meaning of the concept of information in statistical physics, in such a way that the significance of these developments to the traditional philosophical debate on emergence and reductionism becomes manifest.
Stochastic thermodynamics with arbitrary interventions.
For a driven system in contact with a single heat bath the four key thermodynamic quantities are defined along a single "trajectory" for a causal model and a classical version of Stinespring's dilation theorem is proved, which might be of independent interest.
The Landauer Principle: Re-Formulation of the Second Thermodynamics Law or a Step to Great Unification?
The Landauer principle quantifies the thermodynamic cost of the recording/erasure of one bit of information, as it was stated by its author: “information is physical” and it has an energy equivalent.
Generalized laws of thermodynamics in the presence of correlations
A formalism redefining heat, work and thermodynamic laws in terms of quantum conditional entropy is developed, which consistently generalize thermodynamics in correlated scenarios.
Quantum Coarse-Graining: An Information-theoretic Approach to thermodynamics
We investigate fundamental connections between thermodynamics and quantum information theory. First, we show that the operational framework of thermal operations is nonequivalent to the framework of


The thermodynamics of writing a random polymer
  • C. Jarzynski
  • Physics
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2008
The setting of their analysis is not a demon and a gas, but rather a process essential to living organisms: copolymerization, in which a chain-like molecule grows by the addition of chemically distinct units (monomers).
Experimental verification of Landauer’s principle linking information and thermodynamics
It is established that the mean dissipated heat saturates at the Landauer bound in the limit of long erasure cycles, demonstrating the intimate link between information theory and thermodynamics and highlighting the ultimate physical limit of irreversible computation.
Use of mutual information to decrease entropy: Implications for the second law of thermodynamics.
  • Lloyd
  • Computer Science, Physics
    Physical review. A, General physics
  • 1989
The correlations induced between different particle modes during the expansion phase allow the modes to behave like Maxwell's demons during the contracting phase, reducing the entropy of the universe to a low value.
Thermodynamic and logical reversibilities revisited
We review and investigate the general theory of the thermodynamics of computation, and derive the fundamental inequalities that set the lower bounds of the work requirement and the heat emission
Stochastic thermodynamics, fluctuation theorems and molecular machines.
  • U. Seifert
  • Physics
    Reports on progress in physics. Physical Society
  • 2012
Efficiency and, in particular, efficiency at maximum power can be discussed systematically beyond the linear response regime for two classes of molecular machines, isothermal ones such as molecular motors, and heat engines such as thermoelectric devices, using a common framework based on a cycle decomposition of entropy production.
Maxwell's Demon, Entropy, Information, Computing
This book brings under one cover twenty-five reprints, including seminal works by Maxwell and William Thomson; historical reviews by Martin Klein, Edward Daub, and Peter Heimann; information theoretic contributions by Leo Szilard, Leon Brillouin, Dennis Gabor, and Jerome Rothstein; and innovations by Rolf Landauer and Charles Bennett illustrating linkages with the limits of computation.
Stochastic thermodynamics with information reservoirs.
An inequality is obtained that can derive an information processing entropy production, which gives the second law in the presence of information reservoirs, and a systematic linear response theory for information processing machines is developed.
Equalities and Inequalities: Irreversibility and the Second Law of Thermodynamics at the Nanoscale
The reason we never observe violations of the second law of thermodynamics is in part a matter of statistics: When ∼1023 degrees of freedom are involved, the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against
Information Thermodynamics: Maxwell's Demon in Nonequilibrium Dynamics
We review theory of information thermodynamics which incorporates effects of measurement and feedback into nonequilibrium thermodynamics of a small system, and discuss how the second law of
Fluctuation theorems for stochastic dynamics
Fluctuation theorems make use of time reversal to make predictions about entropy production in many-body systems far from thermal equilibrium. Here we review the wide variety of distinct, but