Thermodynamics of information

Understanding the physical nature of information and how it relates to energy transfer and new technologies that make use of these insights.

Ever since Maxwell’s demon helped establish the link between thermodynamics and information, scientists have been formulating the thermodynamics of memories, information flows and feedback processes, especially in the 21st century. Quantum information thermodynamics extends these ideas to quantum measurement and feedback.

In this project we investigate the relation between information and energy in the classical and quantum regimes. Using analytical techniques and simulations, we pursue a collection of hypotheses about the physical nature of information, how to extract energy from fluctuations in the environment, and new technologies that take advantage of these and further insights.

A better understanding of information thermodynamics will help advance the nascent fields of quantum computing, nano-scale devices and biomolecular engineering. Sustained energy extraction could reduce the need for batteries in small autonomous devices. Quantifying the energy required by organisms and synthetic devices to gather and act on information could help form a foundational theory of life and artificial life.

Thermodynamics of information

Related papers

On defining the Hamiltonian beyond quantum theory

D. Branford, O. Dahlsten, A. Garner

Foundations of Physics

Organic molecule fluorescence as an experimental test-bed for quantum jumps in thermodynamics

C. Browne, T. Farrow, O. Dahlsten, V. Vedral

Proceedings of the Royal Society A

Entropic equality for worst-case work at any protocol speed

O. Dahlsten, M. Choi, D. Braun, A. Garner, N. Halpern, V. Vedral

New Journal of Physics

Photonic Maxwell’s demon

M. Vidrighin, O. Dahlsten, M. Barbieri, M. Kim, V. Vedral, I. Walmsley

Physical Review Letters

A measure of majorization emerging from single-shot statistical mechanics

D. Egloff, O. Dahlsten, R. Renner, V. Vedral

New Journal of Physics

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