Entropy, Volume 23, Issue 3 (March 2021) – 120 articles
Cover Story (view full-size image): State changes of systems due to interventions of "intelligent beings'' that can lead to a decrease in entropy are widely discussed in the literature. We propose here to take them as examples of "conditional actions'' and to describe them mathematically as "instruments'' following the quantum theory of measurement. As a detailed case study, we calculate the imperfect erasure of a qubit, which can also be considered as a conditional action and is realized by coupling a spin to another small spin system in its ground state. This analysis casts a critical light on the widely accepted Landauer–Bennett principle. From our point of view, erasing memory content appears as an additional conditional action, but it is neither necessary nor sufficient to solve Maxwell's demon paradox. View this paper
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