Meeting Summary: We propose to organize a workshop at the Santa Fe Institute (SFI) to explore the role of both thermodynamics and computation in constraining biological processes, evolution, and metabolism. The workshop will be held over two-and-a-half days investigating the connection between thermodynamics and computation in a variety of topics including: pure computer science, the statistical mechanics of computation, chemical computers, the thermodynamics and computation of organisms. A synthesis of these topics will be necessary to more fully understand the general features of the thermodynamics of computation. In particular, understanding the fundamental aspects of the computations and energetics of life explicitly requires a treatment of each of the listed topics.
This workshop will connect three sub-disciplines - statistical physics, computation and biological and chemical computers - to each other in an attempt to provide the field with deeper theoretical coherence and connection. In particular, there is the need to migrate computer science and statistical physics tools for use in biological and chemical computers, and in turn, to use the biological and chemical systems to inspire new theoretical questions and techniques.