Heat production and error probability relation in Landauer reset at effective temperature

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Scientific Reports, Volume 6, p.34039 - (2016)




The erasure of a classical bit of information is a dissipative process. The minimum heat produced during this operation has been theorized by Rolf Landauer in 1961 to be equal to kBT ln2 and takes the name of Landauer limit, Landauer reset or Landauer principle. Despite its fundamental importance, the Landauer limit remained untested experimentally for more than fifty years until recently when it has been tested using colloidal particles and magnetic dots. Experimental measurements on different devices, like micro-mechanical systems or nano-electronic devices are still missing. Here we show the results obtained in performing the Landauer reset operation in a micro-mechanical system, operated at an effective temperature. The measured heat exchange is in accordance with the theory reaching values close to the expected limit. The data obtained for the heat production is then correlated to the probability of error in accomplishing the reset operation.