Thermodynamics as Control Theory
AbstractI explore the reduction of thermodynamics to statistical mechanics by treating the former as a control theory: A theory of which transitions between states can be induced on a system (assumed to obey some known underlying dynamics) by means of operations from a fixed list. I recover the results of standard thermodynamics in this framework on the assumption that the available operations do not include measurements which affect subsequent choices of operations. I then relax this assumption and use the framework to consider the vexed questions of Maxwell’s demon and Landauer’s principle. Throughout, I assume rather than prove the basic irreversibility features of statistical mechanics, taking care to distinguish them from the conceptually distinct assumptions of thermodynamics proper.
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Wallace, D. Thermodynamics as Control Theory. Entropy 2014, 16, 699-725.
Wallace D. Thermodynamics as Control Theory. Entropy. 2014; 16(2):699-725.Chicago/Turabian Style
Wallace, David. 2014. "Thermodynamics as Control Theory." Entropy 16, no. 2: 699-725.