Thermodynamics as Control Theory
Balliol College, Oxford OX1 3BJ, UK
Entropy 2014, 16(2), 699-725; https://doi.org/10.3390/e16020699
Received: 23 October 2013 / Revised: 18 November 2013 / Accepted: 17 December 2013 / Published: 24 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maxwell’s Demon 2013)
I 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. View Full-Text
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
MDPI and ACS Style
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.
Find Other Styles