May 3, 2019

Fundamental limits on the thermodynamics of circuits

Date: May 3, 2019 | 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Speaker: David H. Wolpert, Santa Fe
Location: Mondi Seminar Room 2, Central Building

Understanding the minimal resources required to perform a given computation has also been a long-standing focus of research in physics. Modern work on this issue can be traced back to the work of Landauer in which he concluded that thermodynamic resources of at least kT ln[2] were needed to erase a bit on any physical system.

However no work has been done before on the thermodynamic resources needed to perform more complicated computations than bit erasure. In this talk I will introduce the results of some preliminary research on this issue, focusing specifically on how the thermodynamic resources needed to implement a desired input-output function with a digital (straight-line) circuit depend on the topology of the circuit. Specifically, I will show how an analysis of the thermodynamics of digital circuits:

– Uncovers novel connections between nonequilibrium statistical physics and information theory;

– Reveals new, challenging engineering problems for how to design a circuit to have minimal thermodynamic costs;

– Allows us to extend computer science theory (specifically circuit complexity theory) to include thermodynamic costs.

While these results are motivated by problems in computer science, the models also apply to
other kinds of circuits, e.g., genetic circuits.

More Information:

Date:
May 3, 2019
11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Speaker:
David H. Wolpert, Santa Fe

Location:
Mondi Seminar Room 2, Central Building

Contact:

BOOCOCK Daniel

Email:
dboocock@ist.ac.at

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