Information Theoretic Thermodynamics

Our current era is wholly devoted to this idea of information but from a physics standpoint several fundamental questions remain unanswered. Questions like, “Is information quantized?” and “is there an energy-mass-information equivalence principle?” still are open ended. One area of particular interest is the relationship between information theory and thermodynamics.

Maxwell’s Demon posits the existence of a theoretical demon controlling a trapdoor where on either side of a partition there are particles with varying speeds. As faster particles approach the door, the demon turns a switch to allow the particles to pass through, seemingly violating the second law of thermodynamics as one side gets hotter (the fast particles) and the other gets colder (the slower particles). The most famous answer to this paradox came from Leonard Szilard, who proposed that the Demon would need to be able to measure the speeds of the molecules as they approach the door, meaning that information must be stored. So it seems to me that information storage is necessary to setup a heat source and a heat sink, which we place a heat engine between and use to generate work. So is information then somehow related to work?

From a totally separate point of view, I tend to think of currency/pricing as information. From an economic standpoint is there a relationship between information and pricing? Tying together the first and second point, a relationship between information, price, and energy? It would explain the “Stake-of-Work” aspect of Bitcoin, as that essentially ties pricing to the electricity one is willing to use to mine Bitcoin…

There is a conversation, nonetheless, among some science minded individuals that we have been sitting on the “Theory of Everything” this whole time and that theory is Thermodynamics. If this is true, an information-theoretic understanding would add much depth to our understanding of the universe…I guess my “true belief” is that this is an area that should be pursued doggedly, preferably by people more equipped to handle these thoughts than myself.

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