Entropy 2013, 15(10), 4432-4483; doi:10.3390/e15104432
Article

All Shook Up: Fluctuations, Maxwell’s Demon and the Thermodynamics of Computation

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Received: 3 July 2013; in revised form: 17 September 2013 / Accepted: 22 September 2013 / Published: 17 October 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maxwell’s Demon 2013)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: The most successful exorcism of Maxwell’s demon is Smoluchowski’s 1912 observation that thermal fluctuations would likely disrupt the operation of any molecular-scale demonic machine. A later tradition sought to exorcise Maxwell’s demon by assessing the entropic cost of the demon’s processing of information. This later tradition fails since these same thermal fluctuations invalidate the molecular-scale manipulations upon which the thermodynamics of computation is based. A new argument concerning conservation of phase space volume shows that all Maxwell’s demons must fail.
Keywords: entropy; computation; fluctuations; Maxwell’s demon; Landauer’s principle; thermodynamics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Norton, J.D. All Shook Up: Fluctuations, Maxwell’s Demon and the Thermodynamics of Computation. Entropy 2013, 15, 4432-4483.

AMA Style

Norton JD. All Shook Up: Fluctuations, Maxwell’s Demon and the Thermodynamics of Computation. Entropy. 2013; 15(10):4432-4483.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Norton, John D. 2013. "All Shook Up: Fluctuations, Maxwell’s Demon and the Thermodynamics of Computation." Entropy 15, no. 10: 4432-4483.

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