Memory formation is emerging as a new and productive theme for organizing our understanding of matter and functionality. While the notion of memory originates in the biological world in our conscious recollection of the past, other — often more subtle — forms of memory appear throughout phenomena encountered in chemistry, physics, and geophysics. In biology too, memory is a useful concept not just in our cognitive world but to describe the mechanics of cells and evolutionary training. Memory thus encompasses a broad set of phenomena built from non-equilibrium conditions. Thus, for example, memory of initial conditions is often stored in many material properties and some of these may possibly be recovered at later times. In condensed phases, it is often encountered in samples displaying hysteresis, both thermodynamic and mechanical, in the aging and rejuvenation of macromolecules, gels and glasses, in the response to external mechanical perturbations (cyclic memory), and in the memory of the particle shape in colloidal systems.
This special issue of JCP aims to contribute to the description of the most recent advances on this topic, and to help develop unifying viewpoints to understand memory effects in matter. The special issue will include experimental and theoretical/simulation-based papers. Because the science surrounding the origin of memory is evolving rapidly, the list of topics below is not complete. We hope that this list spurs more thoughts about how different physical and biological phenomena can be related to, and we hope productively understood, in terms of memory formation.
Topics covered include, but are not limited to:
- Hysteresis (in soft and hard matter, in biology and bioinspired materials, and in single macromolecules)
- Cyclic memory in jammed and glassy and otherwise disordered systems
- Shape memory
- Memory in glasses (including aging and rejuvenation, as well as effects such as those associated with the Kaiser, Mullen, and Kovac effects)
- Memory in colloidal systems
- Memory in non-equilibrium transport phenomena (e.g., charge-density waves)
- Memory in gels (storage and retrieval of mechanical energy)
- Melt memory (e.g., in polymer crystallization)
- Memory from metastable states (e.g., in van der Waals systems)
- Echoes and time-reversal phenomena
- Immune system
- Associative memory in networks
- Sensitivity to initial and boundary conditions
- Novel memory devices and concepts (neuromorphic devices, memristor circuits etc)
Murugappan Muthukumar, University of Massachusetts, USA
Sidney R. Nagel, The University of Chicago, USA
Srikanth Sastry, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, India
Zorana Zeravcic, ESPCI Paris, France
Francesco Sciortino, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
David Reichman, Columbia University, NY, USA
Mark D. Ediger, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, USA
Carlos Vega, University Complutense of Madrid, Spain
Please note that papers will be published as normal when they are ready in a regular issue of the journal and will populate on a virtual collection page within a few days of publication. Inclusion in the collection will not cause delay in publication.
How to submit:
- Please submit through the online submission system.
- Under manuscript type → select Article or Communication, as appropriate.
- Under manuscript information → Title/Abstract → select “Invited Submission: No”.
- Under manuscript information → Manuscript classification → select Special Topic: “Memory Formation”