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Fri Jan 19, 2018, 05:15 PM

Information engine operates with nearly perfect efficiency

From phys.org:



Physicists have experimentally demonstrated an information engine—a device that converts information into work—with an efficiency that exceeds the conventional second law of thermodynamics. Instead, the engine's efficiency is bounded by a recently proposed generalized second law of thermodynamics, and it is the first information engine to approach this new bound.

The results demonstrate both the feasibility of realizing a "lossless" information engine—so-called because virtually none of the available information is lost but is instead almost entirely converted into work—and also experimentally validates the sharpness of the bound set by the generalized second law.

...

"Thinking about engines has driven the progress of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics ever since Carnot set a limit on the efficiency of heat engines in 1824," Pak told Phys.org. "Adding information processing in the form of 'demons' set new limitations, and it was essential to verify the new limits in experiment."

Traditionally, the maximum efficiency with which an engine can convert energy into work is bounded by the second law of thermodynamics. In the past decade, however, experiments have shown that an engine's efficiency can surpass the second law if the engine can gain information from its surroundings, since it can then convert that information into work. These information engines (or "Maxwell's demons," named after the first conception of such a device) are made possible due to a fundamental connection between information and thermodynamics that scientists are still trying to fully understand.

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6 replies, 588 views

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Reply Information engine operates with nearly perfect efficiency (Original post)
Jim__ Jan 2018 OP
mahatmakanejeeves Jan 2018 #1
marylandblue Jan 2018 #2
eppur_se_muova Jan 2018 #3
brush Jan 2018 #4
Jim__ Jan 2018 #5
brush Jan 2018 #6

Response to Jim__ (Original post)

Fri Jan 19, 2018, 05:17 PM

1. Hey, that's my brain you're talking about. NT

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Response to Jim__ (Original post)

Fri Jan 19, 2018, 05:22 PM

2. How much of your soul must you sell to get a demon to do that?

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Response to Jim__ (Original post)

Fri Jan 19, 2018, 05:39 PM

3. Finally, a use for all those old AOL CD's !

No one will bemoan the loss of that information.

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Response to Jim__ (Original post)

Fri Jan 19, 2018, 05:51 PM

4. What's the information such an engine allegedly runs on? Or is this from the "onion"?

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Response to brush (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 19, 2018, 06:42 PM

5. The original report is from Physical Review Letters

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 19, 2018, 06:59 PM

6. Not much info on the alleged information used there. Wonder if this is another cold fusion hype job?

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