Message info From:Russell Standish Subject:Re: The thermodynamics of computation Date:Mon, 20 Feb 2012 08:13:16 +1100

On Sun, Feb 19, 2012 at 11:21:01AM -0500, John Clark wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 19, 2012 at 5:32 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi <> wrote:
> >
> > > If one well defines a thought experiment with the Maxwell's demon, then
> > it is quite clear that such thing does not exist. Why then to spend on it
> > so much time?
> Maxwell's demon is possible in classical physics and it was not clear that
> quantum mechanics made it impossible until 1929 when Leo Szilard proved
> that to be the case. And understanding just why it can not exist aids in
> understanding the relationship between energy information entropy and
> reversibility. Maxwell's demon was the starting point for Rolf Landauer's
> discovery in 1960 that erasing information always requires energy and
> increases entropy because it's thermodynamically irreversible.

Good answer John. Does anyone want to pick on Evgeni's comments about
Chris Adami's book?

It weird, because Chris's book gives some of the bext examples of the
application of statistical physics to artificial life. In particular,
his observation that mutation should play an analogous role to
temperature in an evolutionary process, and that several evolutionary
regimes exist as mutation is varied, corresponding to phase
transitions in materials.

This phenomena I have observed in my own evolutionary
experiments. Plus, it appears to be correlated to Mark Bedau's
evolutionary classes.

This is the paper I usually refer to, although his ideas have evolved
somewhat since 1998:

M. A. Bedau, E. Snyder, N. H. Packard. 1998. A Classification of
Long-Term Evolutionary Dynamics. In C. Adami, R. Belew, H. Kitano, and
C. Taylor, eds., Artificial Life VI, pp. 228-237. Cambridge: MIT
Press. Also published as Working Paper No.98-03-025, Santa Fe
Institute, Santa Fe, NM.


Prof Russell Standish Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics
University of New South Wales

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