Bennett later acknowledged the validity of Earman and Norton's argument, while maintaining that Landauer's principle explains the mechanism by which real systems do not violate the second law of thermodynamics. Although the argument by Landauer and Bennett only answers the consistency between the second law of thermodynamics and the whole cyclic process of the entire system of a Szilard engine a composite system of the engine and the demon , a recent approach based on the non-equilibrium thermodynamics for small fluctuating systems has provided deeper insight on each information process with each subsystem.
From this viewpoint, the measurement process is regarded as a process where the correlation mutual information between the engine and the demon increases, and the feedback process is regarded as a process where the correlation decreases. If the correlation changes, thermodynamic relations as the second law of thermodynamics and the fluctuation theorem for each subsystem should be modified, and for the case of external control a second-law like inequality  and a generalized fluctuation theorem  with mutual information are satisfied.
These relations suggest that we need extra thermodynamic cost to increase correlation measurement case , and in contrast we can apparently violate the second law up to the consumption of correlation feedback case.
For more general information processes including biological information processing, both inequality  and equality  with mutual information hold. Real-life versions of Maxwellian demons occur, but all such "real demons" have their entropy-lowering effects duly balanced by increase of entropy elsewhere.
Molecular-sized mechanisms are no longer found only in biology; they are also the subject of the emerging field of nanotechnology. Single-atom traps used by particle physicists allow an experimenter to control the state of individual quanta in a way similar to Maxwell's demon. If hypothetical mirror matter exists, Zurab Silagadze proposes that demons can be envisaged, "which can act like perpetuum mobiles of the second kind: Yet the Second Law is not violated because the demons pay their entropy cost in the hidden mirror sector of the world by emitting mirror photons.
In the February issue of Nature , David Leigh , a professor at the University of Edinburgh , announced the creation of a nano-device based on the Brownian ratchet popularized by Richard Feynman. Leigh's device is able to drive a chemical system out of equilibrium , but it must be powered by an external source light in this case and therefore does not violate thermodynamics.
Previously, researchers including Nobel Prize winner Fraser Stoddart , created ring-shaped molecules called rotaxanes which could be placed on an axle connecting two sites, A and B. Particles from either site would bump into the ring and move it from end to end. If a large collection of these devices were placed in a system, half of the devices had the ring at site A and half at B , at any given moment in time. Leigh made a minor change to the axle so that if a light is shone on the device, the center of the axle will thicken, restricting the motion of the ring.
Who and what is the Daemon?
It only keeps the ring from moving, however, if it is at A. Over time, therefore, the rings will be bumped from B to A and get stuck there, creating an imbalance in the system. In his experiments, Leigh was able to take a pot of "billions of these devices" from In Mark G. Raizen developed a laser atomic cooling technique which realizes the process Maxwell envisioned of sorting individual atoms in a gas into different containers based on their energy. The operation of the one-way wall relies on an irreversible atomic and molecular process of absorption of a photon at a specific wavelength, followed by spontaneous emission to a different internal state.
Raizen and collaborators proposed using the one-way wall in order to reduce the entropy of an ensemble of atoms.
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