The Stochastic Thermodynamics of Computation



  • 2013 Spring/Summer (Jan - May)



Historical: Szilard heat engine, Negentropy, Landauer's principle, reversible computation, ballistic computation, Feynman's ratchet and pawl, Flashing ratchets.

Stochastic thermodynamics (from Udo Seifert's book): Langevin equation, Fokker-Planck equation, stochastic energetics, stochastic entropy.

Geometric stochasic thermodynamics:  Brownian motion on a manifold, covariant formulations of the Langevin equation and Fokker-Planck equation.

Recent work: Axiomatic descriptions of the Fokker-Planck equations, physics of the bit, finite-time versions of Landauer's principle by Aurell et al., batteries, catalysis, cost of computing.


Grading (Tentative): Scribe notes (25) + Class presentations (50) + Final project (25).


Textbooks: Stochastic thermodynamics: Principles and perspectives by Udo Seifert.