Axiomatic Information Thermodynamics

Entropy (Basel). 2018 Mar 29;20(4):237. doi: 10.3390/e20040237.


We present an axiomatic framework for thermodynamics that incorporates information as a fundamental concept. The axioms describe both ordinary thermodynamic processes and those in which information is acquired, used and erased, as in the operation of Maxwell's demon. This system, similar to previous axiomatic systems for thermodynamics, supports the construction of conserved quantities and an entropy function governing state changes. Here, however, the entropy exhibits both information and thermodynamic aspects. Although our axioms are not based upon probabilistic concepts, a natural and highly useful concept of probability emerges from the entropy function itself. Our abstract system has many models, including both classical and quantum examples.

Keywords: Maxwell’s demon; axiomatic thermodynamics; entropy; information.

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