Matter that remembers

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I'm not sure I understand what "memory" here means but anyway...

Scientists discover material with a brain-like memory

August 25, 2022


Quote:In a world-first, researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have accidentally discovered the first known chemical compound to exhibit memory capabilities.

Known as vanadium dioxide, the compound is certainly not alive, but it does seem to be able to remember physical stimuli for several hours after the fact.

"Here we report electronically accessible long-lived structural states in vanadium dioxide that can provide a scheme for data storage and processing," the scientists wrote in a new paper.

"These glass-like functional devices could outperform conventional metal-oxide-semiconductor electronics in terms of speed, energy consumption and miniaturization, as well as provide a route to neuromorphic computation and multilevel memories."
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  • Typoz
(2022-08-27, 02:07 PM)Ninshub Wrote: I'm not sure I understand what "memory" here means but anyway...

Scientists discover material with a brain-like memory

August 25, 2022

Doesn't seem to have anything like a mental memory?
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2022-08-27, 02:07 PM)Ninshub Wrote: I'm not sure I understand what "memory" here means but anyway...

Scientists discover material with a brain-like memory

August 25, 2022

A Tag to capture attention and draw readers to an interesting item, but certainly not "memory" any more than "memory foam" has a memory. I did the same thing when I saw that article pop up. Then was disappointed that it was what it was.
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  • Ninshub
(2022-08-27, 02:07 PM)Ninshub Wrote: I'm not sure I understand what "memory" here means but anyway...

Scientists discover material with a brain-like memory

August 25, 2022

I could only access the first page of the paper…. But the paper does appear to show the material has some very interesting properties, in that somehow it is ‘aware’ of prior electrical pulses sent through a test gate formed of the material. Each time a pulse goes through it, it initially acts as an insulator, then makes some sort of spontaneous phase change in the material microseconds afterwards to become conductive, but on each subsequent pulse, the time between insulating and conducting states becomes shorter…

It’s almost like past pulses are being added up… so that the time between insulating-> conductive states gets shorter… that property is like the gate having its own memory of previous pulses (all previous pulses) put through it

From my brief reading, this property isn’t well understood.

It’s a simple form of memory, but really quite a sophisticated behaviour that might be able to be leveraged to make devices with interesting properties for learning, which is naturally present in the material itself.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
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  • Ninshub
(2022-09-04, 08:03 PM)Max_B Wrote: I could only access the first page of the paper…. But the paper does appear to show the material has some very interesting properties, in that somehow it is ‘aware’ of prior electrical pulses sent through a test gate formed of the material. Each time a pulse goes through it, it initially acts as an insulator, then makes some sort of spontaneous phase change in the material microseconds afterwards to become conductive, but on each subsequent pulse, the time between insulating and conducting states becomes shorter…

It’s almost like past pulses are being added up… so that the time between insulating-> conductive states gets shorter… that property is like the gate having its own memory of previous pulses (all previous pulses) put through it

From my brief reading, this property isn’t well understood.

It’s a simple form of memory, but really quite a sophisticated behaviour that might be able to be leveraged to make devices with interesting properties for learning, which is naturally present in the material itself.

My two cents on the way it worked...
My brain went to setting any cold or hot object on any surface of a different temperature. Remove that object, and the surface will maintain the general outline of that temperature change, in the shape of that objects contact, in varying depths, until it returns to the original temperature.
So, my potholder has a memory. The pavement outside has a memory after the sun passes and it is shady, since it is still warm for quite some time, in the shape of the spots open to sunshine.
A poor choice of words on the side of the researchers. I'm sure there is some technical term for what this really is.
I do realize it is interesting because of where it can be used, and for what.

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