Profusion of transition pathways for interacting hysterons

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Reference M. van Hecke, Profusion of transition pathways for interacting hysterons, Phys. Rev. E 104, (5), 054608: 1-11 (2021)
Group Mechanical Metamaterials

The response, pathways, and memory effects of cyclically driven complex media can be captured by hysteretic elements called hysterons. Here we demonstrate the profound impact of hysteron interactions on pathways and memory. Specifically, while the Preisach model of independent hysterons features a restricted class of pathways which always satisfy return point memory, we show that three interacting hysterons generate more than 15 000 transition graphs, with most violating return point memory and having features completely distinct from the Preisach model. Exploring these opens a route to designer pathways and information processing in complex matter.