Memory does not last forever

Memory does not last forever
Tuesday, 24 May, 2022

Martedì 24 Magigo 2022, 4:00 PM → 6:00 PM Europe/Rome
Aula Conversi (Dip. di Fisica - Edificio G. Marconi)

The act of remembering is of fundamental importance in human life. Not only do man made objects such as monuments and landscapes require maintenance to counterbalance their deterioration, but also biological systems are subject to the never-ending task of preserving shapes and functionalities by fighting the universal tendency of entropy to increase. In this talk we discuss a general stochastic dynamic model that describes the time evolution of a digital memory. We present theoretical results and an experiment on a microelectromechanical system, to evaluate the minimum energy required to preserve one bit of information over time. Two main conclusions are drawn: (i) in principle, the energetic cost to preserve information for a fixed time duration with a given error probability can be arbitrarily reduced if the refresh procedure is performed often enough, and (ii) the Heisenberg uncertainty principle sets an upper bound on the memory lifetime.

by Luca Gammaitoni (University of Perugia )

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L' Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" - Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Roma