A Note on the Equivalence of Gibbs Free Energy and Information Theoretic Capacity

CoRR 01/2008; abs/0809.3540.
Source: DBLP


The minimization of Gibbs free energy is based on the changes in work and
free energy that occur in a physical or chemical system. The maximization of
mutual information, the capacity, of a noisy channel is determined based on the
marginal probabilities and conditional entropies associated with a
communications system. As different as the procedures might first appear,
through the exploration of a simple, "dual use" Ising model, it is seen that
the two concepts are in fact the same. In particular, the case of a binary
symmetric channel is calculated in detail.

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    • "In a previous note [1] it was shown that the information theoretic concept of channel capacity is a particular case of the principle of minimum Gibbs free energy. An analysis based on an extension of the second law of thermodynamics is found in [2]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Gibbs free energy properties of a quantum {\it send, receive} communications system are studied. The communications model resembles the classical Ising model of spins on a lattice in that the joint state of the quantum system is the product of sender and receiver states. However, the system differs from the classical case in that the sender and receiver spin states are quantum superposition states coupled by a Hamiltonian operator. A basic understanding of these states is directly relevant to communications theory and indirectly relevant to computation since the product states form a basis for entangled states. Highlights of the study include an exact method for decimation for quantum spins. The main result is that the minimum Gibbs free energy of the quantum system in the product state is higher (lower capacity) than a classical system with the same parameter values. The result is both surprising and not. The channel characteristics of the quantum system in the product state are markedly inferior to those of the classical Ising system. Intuitively, it would seem that capacity should suffer as a result. Yet, one would expect entangled states, built from product states, to have better correlation properties.


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