Sweat ducts make skin a memristor

by Kate McAlpine

THE missing link of electronics, which evaded discovery until 2008, was at our fingertips the whole time. Ordinary human skin behaves like a memristor, a device that "remembers" the last current it experienced and varies its resistance accordingly.

In 1971 Leon Chua of the University of California, Berkeley, came up with the notion of a resistor with memory. He showed mathematically that this memristor should be a fourth basic circuit element alongside the familiar trio of resistor, capacitor and inductor.

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