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June 25th, 2009
Could Maxwell's Demon Exist in Nanoscale Systems?
Maxwell's demon may be making a comeback. Physicists know that the demon, an imaginary creature that decreases the entropy of a system, cannot exist in macroscopic systems due to the energy it requires to perform its role. However, a recent study has shown that, on the nanoscale, Maxwell's demon might be able to do its work with much less energy than previously thought due to tiny thermal fluctuations that occur in small systems.
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