Time-dependent study of bit reset

Publication Type:

Journal Article


EPL (Europhysics Letters), Volume 109, Number 3, p.30002 (2015)




In its most conservative formulation, the Landauer principle states that at least k_BTln2 of heat must be produced to reset one bit. Theoretical derivations of this result for practical systems require complex mathematical tools; additionally, real experiments are sophisticated and sensitive. In the literature, it's then common practice to look for a global heat production of k_BTln2 without further concern for heat exchanges at intermediate times. In this paper we want to recover such kind of description: we take a Brownian particle that moves in a bistable potential as bit. We then consider a reset protocol with a net heat production of k_BTln2 and study the time evolution of internal energy, work and heat. In particular, we show that these quantities are fully characterized by the changes that the protocol induces over the wells of the bistable potential.

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