Multiple transient memories in sheared suspensions: Robustness, structure, and routes to plasticity

Nathan C. Keim, Joseph D. Paulsen, Sidney R. Nagel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Multiple transient memories, originally discovered in charge-density-wave conductors, are a remarkable and initially counterintuitive example of how a system can store information about its driving. In this class of memories, a system can learn multiple driving inputs, nearly all of which are eventually forgotten despite their continual input. If sufficient noise is present, the system regains plasticity so that it can continue to learn new memories indefinitely. Recently, Keim and Nagel showed how multiple transient memories could be generalized to a generic driven disordered system with noise, giving as an example simulations of a simple model of a sheared non-Brownian suspension. Here, we further explore simulation models of suspensions under cyclic shear, focusing on three main themes: robustness, structure, and overdriving. We show that multiple transient memories are a robust feature independent of many details of the model. The steady-state spatial distribution of the particles is sensitive to the driving algorithm; nonetheless, the memory formation is independent of such a change in particle correlations. Finally, we demonstrate that overdriving provides another means for controlling memory formation and retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number032306
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 20 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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