Beating Landauer's bound by Memory Erasure using Time Multiplexed Potentials

Saurav Talukdar, Shreyas Bhaban, Murti Salapaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The Landauer's Principle, proposed by Rolf Landauer in 1961, states that the logically irreversible operation of erasing a single bit of information requires atleast kbT ln 2 amount of energy, kb and T being Boltzmann's constant and temperature respectively. However, Landauer's bound holds only for erasure mechanisms that are perfect. In this article we investigate the effect of imperfections in erasure mechanisms. If the proportion of successful erasures is quantified by p, we show that the minimum energy needed to erase a bit of information is given by kbT[ln 2 + p ln p + (1 - p) ln (1 - p)], also known as the Generalized Landauer bound. Furthermore, we provide a mechanism for realizing a memory bit by multiplexing an optical trap rapidly and propose a mechanism of erasure, for various success proportions p. Using our framework, we show using Monte Carlo simulations that heat dissipation lower than the Landauer's bound is achievable by reducing p. Thus, we establish an independent method of beating Landauer's bound by resorting to partially successful erasures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7645-7650
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017


  • Generalized Landauer's bound
  • Landauer's Principle
  • Landauer's bound
  • Langevin Equation
  • Memory erasure


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