Dept. of  Electrical  and  Computer  Engineering, Texas A&M University

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Johnson noise engines, demons; energy dissipation at control and logic operations


1. Electrical Maxwell Demon and Szilard Engine Utilizing Johnson Noise, Measurement, Logic and Control. In the electrical Maxwell demon there are no mechanical moving components, only two forms of energy exist: heat and electrical energy. In the electrical Szilard engine, out of these energies, the output is mechanical energy. It contains no other moving components than the piston. The weakness of the original Szilard engine is avoided: there is no need for the artificial step of restoring the position of the piston to its initial state. Here, this step is an inherent part of the cycle and and the piston produces works during moving in both directions.  Click here

2. The ultimate energy-requirement of control (including critiques of related deficiencies in historical approaches to Maxwell demon and Szilard engine), first version presented as invited talk at the conference "All the Colors of Noise", Lecce, Italy, November 2011. Second version published in EPL (June 2012):
L.B. Kish, C.G. Granqvist, "Energy Requirement of Control: Comments on the Maxwell Demon and the Szilard Engine" EPL 98 (2012) 68001 (June 2012), Click here >

3. New schemes, purely electrical heat engines, driven by Johnson noise:

<>- Conference presentation (at ICNF Toronto, Canada, June 14, 2011):  "Thermal noise driven heat engines", Click here for the presentation

L.B. Kish, "Thermal noise engines", Chaos, Solitons and Fractals 44 (2011) 114121, Click here

New Electronics cover
Possible utilization of thermal noise for energy harvesting.  Electrical heat engines driven by the Johnson-Nyquist noise of resistors are introduced. They utilize Coulomb's law and  the fluctuation-dissipation theorem of statistical physics that is the reverse phenomenon of heat dissipation in a resistor. No steams, gases, liquids, photons, combustion, phase transition, or exhaust/pollution are present here. In these engines, instead of heat reservoirs, cylinders, pistons and valves, resistors, capacitors and switches are the building elements. For the best performance, a large number of parallel engines must be integrated to run in a synchronized fashion and the characteristic size of the elementary engine must be at the 10 nanometers scale. At room temperature, in the most idealistic case, a two-dimensional ensemble of engines of 25 nanometer characteristic size integrated on a 2.5x2.5 cm silicon wafer with 12 Celsius temperature difference between the warm-source and the cold-sink would produce a specific power of about 0.4 Watt. Regular and coherent (correlated-cylinder states) versions are shown and both of them can work in either four-stroke or two-stroke modes. The coherent engines have properties that correspond to coherent quantum heat engines without the presence of quantum coherence. In the idealistic case, all these engines have Carnot efficiency, which is the highest possible efficiency of any heat engine, without violating the second law of thermodynamics.



Also relevant: Debunking Landauer's principle of erasure-dissipation; See here (practical); and here (deeper).








Departmentof Electrical Engineering, Texas A&M University
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