I was asking a question about sustainability of reversible computers against entropy. I referenced Landauer's principle to frame my question and someone told me in the comments that Landauer's principle is generally false. So I went digging on the web and eventually found a paper titled Information entropy and thermal entropy: apples and oranges which claims this. I just want to verify the validity of these claims. Are they true? Is the Landauer's principle based on a misunderstanding of nature?

  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps you should ask this "someone" to clarify what he/she meant by "generally false" because "true" or "false" is, in general, a simple matter of domain of validity. $\endgroup$ Apr 4, 2023 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ you can actually derive one from the other. thus they are related and you can make the argument they are the same thing really. the picture they give you is different but they are just different formula for the same thing. physics.stackexchange.com/questions/408502/… $\endgroup$
    – Xsnac
    Apr 4, 2023 at 19:12

1 Answer 1


Information ("Shannon") entropy and thermodynamic entropy are formulated differently but related in the sense that thermodynamic entropy can be thought of as the amount of detailed information about a thermodynamic state which is discarded when you go from a microdescription (all the individual positions and velocities of all the gas molecules in the ensemble at every instant) to the macrodescription of the same ensemble (temperature, pressure, density).


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.