The Thermodynamics of Confidentiality

Pasquale Malacaria

What has a property (confidentiality) of a human artifact (software) to do with the most fundamental laws of Physics?

In this talk we outline this surprising connection by showing in some precise sense the thermodynamics foundations of confidentiality. The main result is that any deterministic computation, where the final state of the system is observable, must dissipate at least W K T ln2. Here W is the information theoretic notion of remaining uncertainty as defined in Quantitative Information Flow, K the Boltzmann constant and T the system temperature.

The talk will be as self contained and as simple as possible.