Maxwell's demon and the thermodynamics of computation

It is generally accepted, following Landauer and Bennett, that the process of measurement involves no minimum entropy cost, but the erasure of information in resetting the memory register of a computer to zero requires dissipating heat into the environment. This thesis has been challenged recently in a two-part article by Earman and Norton. I review some relevant observations in the thermodynamics of computation and argue that Earman and Norton are mistaken: there is in principle no entropy cost to the acquisition of information, but the destruction of information does involve an irreducible entropy cost.
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DOI 10.1016/S1355-2198(01)00023-5
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References found in this work BETA
J. Earman & D. J. (1998). Exorcist XIV: The Wrath of Maxwell's Demon. Part I. From Maxwell to Szilard. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 29 (4):435-471.

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Citations of this work BETA
John D. Norton (2005). Eaters of the Lotus: Landauer's Principle and the Return of Maxwell's Demon. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 36 (2):375-411.
Charles H. Bennett (2003). Notes on Landauer's Principle, Reversible Computation, and Maxwell's Demon. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 34 (3):501-510.

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