Biophysics Journal Club

Experimental study of information-powered engines

Tushar Saha, SFU Physics
Location: P8445.2

Wednesday, 27 July 2022 12:30PM PDT


Information engines, the modern version of a Maxwell demon, are devices that can convert information into work. Previous studies have shown that information---used as fuel by information engines---is physical and governed by the laws of thermodynamics. These studies probed the underlying fundamental physics; however, we envision information engines as energy harvesters. I will present an information engine built using an optically trapped bead that can store gravitational energy, produce directed motion, and control bead dynamics by applying feedback forces. We will discuss strategies to improve the engine's output by optimizing the experimental parameters. We will study the dependence on the measurement accuracy and discuss a method to increase the engine's output at low measurement accuracy. Finally, we will discuss strategies to increase engine output while operating in a nonequilibrium environment. These experiments aim to motivate studies to design information engines with real-world applications.

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