Display ad
HomeSciencePhysicsInformation as Thermodynamic Fuel

Information as Thermodynamic Fuel

• Physics 15, s133

A “filtering” algorithm permits data engines to carry out effectively even when they’re subjected to excessive noise.

Tushar Ok. Saha/Simon Fraser University

An data engine makes use of data to transform warmth into helpful power. Such an engine might be made, for instance, from a heavy bead in an optical lure. A bead engine operates utilizing thermal noise. When noise fluctuations increase the bead vertically, the lure can also be lifted. This change will increase the typical top of the bead, and the engine produces power. No work is completed to trigger this modification; fairly, the potential power is extracted from data. However, measurement noise—whose origin is intrinsic to the system probing the bead’s place—can degrade the engine’s effectivity, as it will possibly add uncertainty to the measurement, which might result in incorrect suggestions selections by the algorithm that operates the engine. Now Tushar Saha and colleagues at Simon Fraser University in Canada have developed an algorithm that doesn’t endure from these errors, permitting for environment friendly operation of an data engine even when there’s excessive measurement noise [1].

To date, most data engines have operated utilizing suggestions algorithms that take into account solely the newest bead-position remark. In such a system, when the engine’s signal-to-noise ratio falls beneath a sure worth, the engine stops working.

To overcome this downside, Saha and colleagues as an alternative use a “filtering” algorithm that replaces the newest bead measurement with a so-called Bayesian estimate. This estimate accounts for each measurement noise and delay within the gadget’s suggestions.

The workforce exhibits that they will use their algorithm to run an data engine when the signal-to-noise ratio is low. However, as a result of the Bayesian estimate is calculated utilizing all previous measurements on the engine, this algorithm requires extra storage capability than others. Thus, as in lots of scientific issues involving measurements, a trade-off emerges, on this case between reminiscence price and power extraction.

–Agnese Curatolo

Agnese Curatolo is an Associate Editor at Physical Review Letters.


  1. T. Ok. Saha et al., “Bayesian information engine that optimally exploits noisy measurements,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 129, 130601 (2022).

Subject Areas

Statistical PhysicsNonlinear Dynamics

Related Articles

Disordered Systems Mimic Genetic Evolution
Oscillating into the GHz Regime
Depletion-Force Measurements Get Active
Complex Systems

Depletion-Force Measurements Get Active

Measurements of the enticing drive skilled by a passive particle in a shower of energetic ones and of the microstructure of that system, increase the tantalizing risk of straightforward and generic quantitative descriptions of the group of objects inside energetic and residing techniques. Read More »

More Articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular