Rich Freeman on 24 Oct 2017 06:49:23 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Securely destroy and responsibly recycling hardware

On Tue, Oct 24, 2017 at 9:27 AM, K.S. Bhaskar <> wrote:
> For that matter, I believe there are principles of physics stating that
> information can neither ever be created or destroyed… But I'm not an expert
> in the field.

I'd be interested in hearing from a physicist but this seems
immediately contradictory to the second law of thermodynamics.

I did a bit of googling, and the law of conservation of information
only states that the sum of information and entropy is constant.
Given that any physical interaction must increase entropy that
suggests that not only can information be destroyed, but that
information MUST be destroyed in every single physical interaction (in
the net - certainly it can be increased locally just as entropy can be
decreased locally).

There is apparently also a quantum rule called no-deletion which
further contradicts this, but I believe entropy is more of an emergent
property of matter that doesn't really show up when you consider
single interactions of a few fundamental particles.  So, I suspect
this is a rule that holds within a domain.

I'll confess that beyond Physical Chemistry I don't really have much
formal knowledge in this space, so if there is some physics professor
on the list I'd be interested in their opinion...

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