A simple and provocative title – The Missing Memristor has Not been Found! This harsh admission of reality without sugar coating is the very title, and not of some opinion piece, but of a scientific paper published by the very same Nature Publishing Group that is criticized right away in that very paper:
In 2008, the discovery of a “missing memristor” was announced with three (!) basically simultaneously timed, [in content!] overlapping Nature group articles 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.
Alas, it was all hype:
There was immediately controversy around that the devices are neither new nor the 1971 proposed real memristor device. Similar devices were already discovered in 1995, but those early discoverers do still not think that their devices are real memristors. …
These particular criticisms are an old hat by now, though they could not previously be said out loud. But “The Missing Memristor has Not been found” also supplies the first perfect, purely mechanical memristor concept, which has already been simulated and further discussed on the archive. Its theory clarifies the controversial issue so that a wide audience can see through the hype. Although more than a handful of reviewers were involved, biting criticism very unusual in scientific papers is -- finally after all -- allowed to appear on the topic of the 2008 memristor scandal:
It is highly doubtful that wide media attention would be given to such a mere technicality described around long known devices. ... the world is missing something else entirely: a real memristor device as suggested in 1971 …
Rejecting that known devices are suddenly supposedly a breakthrough for artificial brains can be relevant for whether “hype” rather than honest confusion could be involved for example ...
That the originator of the 1971 hypothesis defends the purported discovery submits the case as rich and unprecedented to the sociology of science. … The claimed memristor discovery reminds of the claimed detection of gravitational waves by Joseph Weber in the late 1960s. Also initially accepted, it was discredited in the mid 1970s and led to a number of sociological analyses.
The claim that other such devices are real memristor devices that were suggested on grounds of ... is precisely as nonsensical …
These reasons add to previous ones [Missing the Memristor. Adv. Sci. Lett. 17, 285-290 (2012)] for why a real memristor device is likely impossible, but we abandon all such speculative argumentations before they again distract from that our discussion of non-magnetic circuit theory already rigorously rejected the 2008 claim.
Answering the self-righteous “discoverers’” ongoing hype about how they supposedly found the memristor while all other researchers were “searching in the wrong places:”
Others were not “searching in the wrong places” but for the actually 1971 hypothesized memristor, which has been hidden for so long because it likely does not exist. We are not swayed by an ‘argument from authority’ citing that the originator of the 1971 proposal recently claims statements such as … Such refers to the ideal memristor and other “memristors” in circuit theory, but not to the 1971 implied fourth device, even if the original ‘discoverer of the hypothesis’ may not see that clearly.
The new research shows that people were looking in the correct place. It is one of the many ironies that the 2008 memristor hype was much about supposedly finding memristors in nanotechnology –what a coincidence given the enormous amount of money (and hype) in nanotechnology. The now discussed correct mechanical memristor-like systems do indeed relate to nano-technology, but only to show how mistaken such is:
… This is why the hypothesized real memristor device should be expected to be found in electro-optics rather than nanotechnology.
Onward to the damning conclusion:
… rigorously speaking, the real memristor device may still be discovered, possibly in electro-optics. Accepting a false discovery is not conductive toward this aim. … Either one admits that the real memristor device has not been found or one attaches the label “realmemristor device” more loosely, but then one must admit that such devices havebeen known all along. We cannot have it both ways, namely being loose with whatX means while also insisting on that a very significant, fundamental scientificentity X suggested on grounds of deep insights much like the Higgs boson hasbeen found, or to stay with the here relevant EM symmetry, Dirac’s magnetic monopole.
The mechanical and electrical circuit theories are mathematically precise analogs by construction and one can make elaborate circuits such as the Rouse model in polymer dynamics, a chain consisting of springs and beads in a viscous fluid, which is the analog of and behaves like Lord Kelvin’s discrete LC chain model of the transatlantic telegraph cable.
We described not just electrical circuit theory that has no (noticeable) magnetism but also the precisely analogous mechanical circuit theory without (noticeable) mass. … Given that real devices correspond to all three out of four BCE, namely a potentially very light hollow body in thick oil (R), spring (C), and the heavy mass added into the body beingthe third (L), we hereby hypothesize a missing fourth, namely a real mechanical memristor device (M) which needs the involvement of mass inertia just like the1971 hypothesized memristor device requires magnetic induction.
This is great news regarding the ever on and on and on ongoing memristor scandal, and allows me to discuss the next time in much more detail than before how this paper, and others still, was and still are suppressed.
[Reference: The Missing Memristor has Not been Found, Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 11657 doi:10.1038/srep11657]