Mechanical annealing and memories in a disordered solid

Nathan C. Keim, Dani Medina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Shearing a disordered or amorphous solid for many cycles with a constant strain amplitude can anneal it, relaxing a sample to a steady state that encodes a memory of that amplitude. This steady state also features a remarkable stability to amplitude variations that allows one to read the memory. Here, we shed light on both annealing and memory by considering how to mechanically anneal a sample to have as little memory content as possible. In experiments, we show that a “ring-down” protocol reaches a comparable steady state but with no discernible memories and minimal structural anisotropy. We introduce a method to characterize the population of rearrangements within a sample and show how it connects with the response to amplitude variation and the size of annealing steps. These techniques can be generalized to other forms of glassy matter and a wide array of disordered solids, especially those that yield by flowing homogeneously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereabo1614
JournalScience Advances
Issue number40
StatePublished - Oct 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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