Landauer's principle in the quantum domain

Janet Anders
Saroosh Shabbir
Stefanie Hilt
Eric Lutz

Recent papers discussing thermodynamic processes in strongly coupled quantum systems claim a violation of Landauer's principle and imply a violation of the second law of thermodynamics. If true, this would have powerful consequences. Perpetuum mobiles could be build as long as the operating temperature is brought close to zero. It would also have serious consequences on thermodynamic derivations of information theoretic results, such as the Holevo bound. Here we argue why these claims are erroneous. Correlations occurring in the strongly coupled, quantum domain require a rethink of how entropy, heat and work are calculated. It is shown that a consistent treatment solves the paradox.

In S. Barry Cooper, Prakash Panangaden and Elham Kashefi: Proceedings Sixth Workshop on Developments in Computational Models: Causality, Computation, and Physics (DCM 2010), Edinburgh, Scotland, 9-10th July 2010, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 26, pp. 13–18.
Published: 9th June 2010.

ArXived at: bibtex PDF

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