The missing memristor

According to Vongehr, S. and Meng, X. The Missing Memristor has Not been Found. Sci. Rep. 5, 11657; doi: 10.1038/srep11657 (2015).

In 2008, the discovery of a “missing memristor” was announced with three (!) basically simultaneously timed, overlapping Nature group articles3,4,5 and on the front pages of major newspapers, all as if an almost 40 years ago predicted, deeply scientifically significant hypothesis had been finally proven. There was immediately controversy around that the devices are neither new nor the 1971 proposed real memristor device6,7. Similar devices were already discovered in 19958, but those early discoverers do still not think that their devices are real memristors. Memristive behavior is known from thin films since even before 19719. Before 2008, such devices and nonvolatile memory applications10 were correctly not called memristors11,12. The 2008 claim showed that the films of TiO2 between metals, well known since the 1960s, can be described as resistors with memory13, and “memristors” understood merely as nonlinear resistors with memory have been described by Kubo theory in the 1950s14. Novel in 2008 was merely the widely emphasized claim that such devices are the long sought “missing memristor,” but looking closer, it turns out that the authors were apparently missing something they call “perfect memristor,” the meaning of which accords to the mentioned tacit redefinition of “memristor” as not-just-memristive. It is highly doubtful that wide media attention would be given to such a mere technicality described around long known devices. Even if the existence of a perfect memristor was firstly recognized in 2008, the world is missing something else entirely: a real memristor device as suggested in 1971 on grounds of EM symmetry, namely on par with the known real inductor, the fourth next to that known third, both of them impossible without magnetic flux.

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1 Comment

  1. Very interesting. I have read some of the 2008 papers and always though there was a disconnect between the missing device based on EM characteristics and what the researchers disclosed.

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