Memory formation in cyclically deformed amorphous solids and sphere assemblies

M Adhikari and S Sastry, EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL E, 41, 105 (2018).

DOI: 10.1140/epje/i2018-11717-5

We study a model amorphous solid that is subjected to repeated athermal cyclic shear deformation. It has previously been demonstrated that the memory of the amplitudes of shear deformation the system is subjected to (or trained at) is encoded, and can be retrieved by subsequent deformation cycles that serve as read operations. Here we consider different read protocols and measurements and show that single and multiple memories can be robustly retrieved through these different protocols. We also show that shear deformation by a larger amplitude always erases the stored memories. These observations are similar to those in experiments with non-Brownian colloidal suspensions and corresponding models, but differ in the possibility of storing multiple memories non-transiently. Such a possibility has been associated with the presence of cycles of transitions that take place in the model amorphous solids, between local energy minima. Here, we also study low- density sphere assemblies which serve as models for non-Brownian colloidal suspensions, under athermal deformation, and identify a regime where the signatures of memory encoding are similar to the model glass, even when transition between local energy minima are absent. We show that such a regime corresponds to the presence of loop reversibility, rather than point reversibility of configurations under cyclic deformation.

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