Lose a memory, use energy

Lab experiment confirms link between erasing information and heat flow

By Alexandra Witze, 13:24 PM March 7, 2012

Anyone who has ever tried to forget a bad night knows that erasing memory takes work. Physicists have now shown this is literally true, by measuring the heat released when a single bit of information is deleted.

The discovery confirms a 1961 prediction by IBM physicist Rolf Landauer. It links information and heat flow in ways that keep the universe from breaking the second law of thermodynamics. Elaborations on Landauer’s idea may also prove useful in building miniature computers that don’t...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/lose-memory-use-energy