I was thinking about an interesting problem:

Since energy can be seen as entropy and workable energy has smaller entropy, so who can tell me ideally, via any kind of machine, how many bit of information can be added to a system if we add one Joule to the system. For instance, in the modern computer, 1 Joule can drive the computer to output several digits of random binary bits. A programmer can take calorie everyday and write thousands lines of code. My question: what’s the ideal machine in the universe that has the most productivity? (Or there are identical, just differs in different forms? What’s the value of that constant if it’s a constant?) Or, is it the right question?

I will award 50$ for the first person who can come up with the systematic explanation to all the questions above, seriously. Send me email [youxu @t wustl.edu]

—- Chinese Edition———–

我最近突然有个很奇怪的想法, 就是怎么衡量在信息社会, 一个系统的信息生产效率. 我们都知道, 所有的可用能量输入封闭系统后, 如果全部利用后减去被系统存储的活动能, 剩余的就是熵. 按照热力学第二定律, 封闭系统的熵是不减少的.

这个能量来到系统中, 如果做功, 我们自然可以算系统的能量转化比. 假如这个能量不是用来做功, 而是生成信息呢? 比如, 人吃饭, 写字. 就是能量到信息的过程. 这个过程, 最佳转化率能达到多少? 如果信息熵和热力学熵有某种等价关系的话, 可以把系统的热力学熵也归为信息熵. 那么, 一焦耳的活动能, 最后变成了多少比特呢? 如果这个是个常数, 能否求出这个常数? 如果不是常数, 这个宇宙中”生产率”最高的系统的转化比又是多少呢?

大家踊跃想想, 这个问题很有趣. 我将给第一个系统的解决所有问题的人发50美元小奖. [youxu [@t] wustl.edu ]