There is a long-standing dichotomy in physics between reversible dynamical laws, and the proliferation of irreversible processes in nature. Irreversibility is commonly explained using the second law of thermodynamics, which typically states that the entropy of an isolated system is unlikely to decrease – but this is a statistical law and only works for some ambiguous macroscopic scale. An alternative way of framing irreversibility, that is both exact and scale-independent, was recently proposed using Constructor Theory. I will discuss a model for this kind of irreversibility within unitary quantum theory, and explain some surprising consequences this could have for the ultimate limits of erasing quantum information.
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