Events at Physics
We report tests of Landauer's principle in an experimental system, where a "virtual" double-well potential is created via a feedback loop. We observe the position of a charged, fluorescent, colloidal particle in water and calculate and then apply the appropriate force using an electric field. In a first experiment, the probability of "erasure" (resetting to one) is unity, and at long cycle times, we observe that the work is compatible with kT ln2. In a second, the probability of erasure is zero; the system may end up in two states; and, at long cycle times, the measured work tends to zero.