Here is a good summary of the experiments supporting a previous conjecture in Physics

 Physics Today
I     Information: From Maxwell’s demon to Landauer’s eraser
   Eric Lutz and Sergio Ciliberto

In a nutshell...  energy can be extracted from information, but you have to erase the information to release the physical energy..

"In modern language, it suggests that the thermodynamic and information entropies are essentially equivalent"


"Gaining, or writing, information is akin to copying information from one place to another—mapping the system’s left and right states to the left and right states of a storage device, for example. Such one-to-one mapping can be realized, in principle, without dissipating any heat. In statistical mechanics parlance, one would say that the mapping conserves volume in phase space.

By contrast, erasing a bit of information involves mapping two states (say, left and right) onto one (right), which is then occupied with probability one. That process does not conserve the volume in phase space and is therefore dissipative. Applying the second law of thermodynamics, Landauer demonstrated in 1961 that the erasure of one bit of information is necessarily accompanied by the release of at least kBTln(2) of heat into the environment. (See the box at left.) That theoretical result, known as Landauer’s erasure principle, illustrates a fundamental difference between the process of writing and erasing information."

"Jaynes recognized that entropy essentially
quantifies the degree of ignorance about the state of
the system—that is, the amount of microstate infor-
mation that’s lost when one monitors the system
macroscopically. Put another way, energy can be en-
tirely converted to work only if the microstate, and
hence the complete information about the system, is
available. Jaynes’s observation provided a firm the-
oretical basis for Szilard’s notion of an equivalence
between thermodynamic and information entropies."

Full Article: Information: From Maxwell’s demon to Landauer’s eraser

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Replies to This Discussion

One sometimes loses the theosophical significance of the current results/confirmations. What this is saying is *any* piece of information contained by any means, e.g. pure mental as well as pure physical or both, must release a fixed minimum amount of energy when it is destroyed (erased). This gives a bridge between physics and thought-forms (mind). We now have one mechanism (at least) that can be used to directly connect physics with abstract information. This includes ideas as information. The mechanism used to destroy (erase) the information is unspecified. It can be done by any means. Furthermore, the energy must be dumped into the physical environment or perhaps stored in the thought-form.

Other uses of this result probably exist. However, the above is the first that came to mind. The way thought-forms can carry abstract information and energy needs some further development. It appears we now have one direct link between mind and matter.

The thought form has always existed. I guess we all know this. What we do not know though.. is how the energy is recycled.  Yes (divine) recycles everything. In my opinion, nothing is erased, just reused.  Everything that you put down on that paper, in that prayer, in that meditation and many other 'mediums'...we hold all those to the fire but that fire becomes something else.... Do you want to quantify? Do you want to math it? We are here.. math is subordinate to the creation of what we have in front of us. We may as humans err, always, wanting to put some science into something that cannot ever be named unto something that cannot ever be quantified... there is belief. there is faith, let not those that come before you betray what you are willing and WILL to be grasped. Everything is separate for everyone, at the same time everything is unity.

Hi -

The information is all we are talking about. I see no reason to destroy anything, especially thought forms, to erase information. The thought form is just another physical entity which gets reused. If there are any properties to it, they will follow their own mathematical relationships. It is not a choice by man.

A prime directive for theosophists is to understand all: man, religion and science. We should rejoice that science is progressing. This century is mostly one of tying up all of these loose ends. That is my take on it.

It appears that scientists have noticed that this abstraction, among other things, is a problem...

from "This Week in Physics" (APS), I found an entire conference on information: The Information Universe conference.

Figure caption


The notion that a “Matrix”-like machine might be running the show behind the scenes may seem a little out there, but the idea can be seen as part of a larger trend that treats information as a physical quantity, on par with mass and charge. This is not information as most people define it, but rather a kind of entropy (often called Shannon entropy) in which different quantum degrees of freedom are thought of as bits. These bits are an important element in black hole studies, where a major concern is the fate of information that falls into a black hole. Erik Verlinde from the University of Amsterdam has taken the information-black hole connection and effectively turned it around to re-define gravity. He claims that gravity is not a real force, but merely emerges from thermodynamic principles: two masses attract because their infall increases the information entropy. At the conference, Verlinde showed that this entropic force becomes stronger at galactic scales, thus removing the need to introduce dark matter to explain galaxy rotation data. Interestingly, other speakers at the conference provided models to explain cosmic acceleration without the need of dark energy. But theorists don’t have much wiggle room, according to Tamara Davis from the University of Queensland, Australia. She provided a brisk overview of the vast astronomical data (from supernovae, galaxy clustering, and gravitational lensing) that constrains dark energy and all its competing alternatives....


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