AQP Seminar: Thermodynamics of gambling Demons

Aalto Quantum Physics Seminars (Zoom). Speaker: Diego Subero Rengel (Aalto University, Department of Applied Physics)

AQP seminar


In the Maxwell's demon experiment, the demon is able to extract some heat from the environment by controlling and measuring the microstates of the system, hence decreasing the entropy of the system without any cost of energy and using a feedback protocol wherein the demon can convert this extra energy into work. This paradoxical behavior has challenged the second law of thermodynamics, and has opened a connection between information and thermodynamics. Based on the Maxwell's demon principle, a recently theoretical study by Neri [1,2] has provided new insight into the fluctuation relations and second law of thermodynamics by applying smart gambling strategies to stochastic trajectories. These strategies called stopping conditions are imposed based on the information acquired from the system when an outstanding event happens. The availability of the information about the system during the stopping conditions opens the possibility for extracting work, as suggested in Maxwell's demon paradox and Szilard's information engine [3]. Now, one can wonder what happens in a small system if the demon instead of feedback starts with a stopping condition? Under this particular case, the demon will be called a gambling demon. This gambling demon decides, on the basis of the acquired information, whether to stop the process or not by following a given stopping condition. Motivated by this fact, we implement in the present work the aforementioned gambling demon to experiments and present the results with a focus on the fluctuation relations and the second law of thermodynamics [4]. For this purpose, a single-electron box interacting weakly with a thermal bath at equilibrium temperature is considered, which is brought out of equilibrium due to the influence of the control gate or protocol.


[1].- Izaak Neri, et. al. Integral fluctuation relations for entropy production at stopping times. Journal of statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment. 2019.

[2].- Izaak Neri, et. al. (2020). Second law of thermodynamics at stopping times. Physical Review Letters, 124 (4):40601.

[3].- Andrew Harvey Leff. Maxwell’s demon 2 Entropy, classical and quantum information, computing. Institute of Physics, UK 2003.

[4].- Manzano,G., Subero, D., Maillet, O., Fazio, R., Pekola, J. P., And, Roldan, E. (2021). Thermodynamics of gambling demons. Physical Review Letters 126(8):0800603.

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