The Cost of Erasing Information
- Conference date: 19–24 August 2008
- Location: Calgary (Canada)
Landauer has argued that the process of erasing 1 bit of information requires a minimum amount of work equal to kTln(2) where T is the temperature of a thermal reservoir that consumes the entropy of the bit. We show that, in principle, the thermal reservoir can be replaced by a reservoir of N spin‐1/2 particles which is subject to the conservation of spin angular momentum. The cost of erasing 1 bit of information in this case is found to be at least where and is the z component of the total spin angular momentum of the spin reservoir.
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