Dissipation Reduction and Information-to-Measurement Conversion in DNA Pulling Experiments with Feedback Protocols

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Information-to-energy conversion with feedback measurement stands as one of the most intriguing aspects of the thermodynamics of information in the nanoscale. To date, experiments have focused on feedback protocols for work extraction. Here we address the novel case of dissipation reduction in nonequilibrium systems with feedback. We perform pulling experiments on DNA hairpins with optical tweezers, with a general feedback protocol based on multiple measurements that includes either discretetime or continuous-time feedback. While feedback can reduce dissipation, it remains unanswered whether it also improves free-energy determination (information-to-measurement conversion). We define thermodynamic information Upsilon as the natural logarithm of the feedback efficacy, a quantitative measure of the efficiency of information-to-energy and information-to-measurement conversion in feedback protocols. We find that discrete- and continuous-time feedback reduces dissipation by roughly k(B)T Upsilon without improvement in free-energy determination. Remarkably, a feedback strategy (defined as a correlated sequence of feedback protocols) further reduces dissipation, enhancing information-to-measurement efficiency. Our study underlines the role of temporal correlations to develop feedback strategies for efficient information-to-measurement conversion in small systems.
We thank A. Alemany and J. Horowitz for their contribution in the initial stages of this work. R. K. S., J. J., and H. L. are supported by the Swedish Science Council (VR) Projects No. 2015-04105 and No. 2015-03824, and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation Project No. 2016.0089. J. M. R. P. acknowledges support from Spanish Research Council Grant No. FIS2017-83706-R. M. R.-P. and F. R. acknowledge support from European Union's Horizon 2020 Grant No. 687089, Spanish Research Council Grants No. FIS2016-80458-P and No. PID2019-111148 GB-I00, and ICREA Academia Grants 2013 and 2018.
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