Wednesday 1 October 2014

Applications of Maxwell's demon

A couple of items about experiments based on 'Maxwell's Demon', using information to extract energy from the environment and (at first sight) violating thermodynamics. ('Heard through' a post by John Collier on the FIS email discussion group.)
Physicists Convert Information Into Energy

The first demonstration of an information-heat engine could revolutionise the way nanomachines get their power.

[Japanese physicists created a kind of staircase in which they lowered an energy barrier to allow atoms to jump up a step and then raised it to prevent the atom falling back down again.

As a result, the atom slowly climbed the staircase even though no energy was added to the system.]

MIT Technology Review, September 30, 2010
Entangled Particles Break Classical Law of Thermodynamics, Say Physicists

Japanese physicists show how to extract more energy from entangled particles than is possible with classical thermodynamics

MIT Technology Review, September 30, 2012

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