Detailed Jarzynski equality applied to a logically irreversible procedure
Laboratoire de Physique Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon (CNRS UMR5672) - 46, allée d'Italie F-69007 Lyon, France, EU
Received: 22 May 2013
Accepted: 13 September 2013
A single-bit memory system is made with a Brownian particle held by an optical tweezer in a double-well potential and the work necessary to erase the memory is measured. We show that the minimum of this work is close to Landauer's bound only for a very slow erasure procedure. Instead a detailed Jarzynski equality allows us to retrieve Landauer's bound independently of the speed of this erasure procedure. For the two separated subprocesses, i.e. the transition from state 1 to state 0 and the transition from state 0 to state 0, the Jarzynski equality does not hold but the generalized version links the work done on the system to the probability that it returns to its initial state under the time-reversed procedure.
PACS: 05.40.-a – Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion / 05.70.-a – Thermodynamics / 05.70.Ln – Nonequilibrium and irreversible thermodynamics
© EPLA, 2013