Experimental nonequilibrium memory erasure beyond Landauer's bound

Mario A. Ciampini, Tobias Wenzl, Michael Konopik, Gregor Thalhammer, Markus Aspelmeyer, Eric Lutz, Nikolai Kiesel

Publications: Working paperPreprint


The clean world of digital information is based on noisy physical devices. Landauer's principle provides a deep connection between information processing and the underlying thermodynamics by setting a lower limit on the energy consumption and heat production of logically irreversible transformations. While Landauer's original formulation assumes equilibrium, real devices often do operate far from equilibrium. We show experimentally that the nonequilibrium character of a memory state enables full erasure with reduced power consumption as well as negative heat production. We implement the optimized erasure protocols in an optomechanical two-state memory. To this end, we introduce dynamical shaping of nonlinear potential landscapes as a powerful tool for levitodynamics as well as the investigation of far-from-equilibrium processes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2021

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 103008 Experimental physics
  • 103029 Statistical physics


  • cond-mat.stat-mech
  • physics.optics
  • quant-ph

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