About this book
This thesis reveals how the feedback trap technique, developed to trap small objects for biophysical measurement, could be adapted for the quantitative study of the thermodynamic properties of small systems. The experiments in this thesis are related to Maxwell’s demon, a hypothetical intelligent, “neat fingered” being that uses information to extract work from heat, apparently creating a perpetual-motion machine.
The second law of thermodynamics should make that impossible, but how? That question has stymied physicists and provoked debate for a century and a half. The experiments in this thesis confirm a hypothesis proposed by Rolf Landauer over fifty years ago: that Maxwell’s demon would need to erase information, and that erasing information—resetting the measuring device to a standard starting state—requires dissipating as much energy as is gained.
For his thesis work, the author used a “feedback trap” to study the motion of colloidal particles in “virtual potentials” that may be manipulated arbitrarily. The feedback trap confines a freely diffusing particle in liquid by periodically measuring its position and applying an electric field to move it back to the origin.
- DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-63694-8
- Copyright Information Springer International Publishing AG 2017
- Publisher Name Springer, Cham
- eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
- Print ISBN 978-3-319-63693-1
- Online ISBN 978-3-319-63694-8
- Series Print ISSN 2190-5053
- Series Online ISSN 2190-5061
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