An electrical component known as a circuit element is used to direct and regulate the flow of electricity through an electrical circuit. The resistor, capacitor, and inductor are the traditional three. The memristor and the memcapacitor are two more circuit components newly found in the last 15 years.
Now, Dr. H. Rusty Harris, associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, has identified a new circuit element known as a meminductor.
Harris said, “Those two discoveries set the world on its head as far as electrical engineering. We thought we had three, but now we found these two others. And so that led us to think, ‘OK, there’s got to be more then, but how do we understand what they are? How do we map all of these things relative to each other?’ And it turns out, there is a relationship between each of the resistors and its family and each of the capacitors and its family.”
To test the magnetic flux density and magnetizing field strength of the inductor circuit element, Harris and his student developed a two-terminal passive system, largely made up of an electromagnet interacting with two permanent magnets. Harris demonstrated the existence of the pinched hysteresis curve within the inductor, which led to the realization of its mem-state, or memory-like character, using the same criteria as the memristor and memcapacitor.
Harris said, “Discovery is fascinating. And the student-professor interaction on this project was beautiful. During our brainstorming sessions, we fed off each other—I learned new things based on my discussion with him, and he learned new things based on my experience.”
- Abhiram Dinavahi et al., Physical evidence of meminductance in a passive, two-terminal circuit element, Scientific Reports (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-24914-y