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Electric displacement field D of a ferroelectric material as the electric field E is first decreased, then increased. The curves form a hysteresis loop. Ehysteresis.PNG
Electric displacement field D of a ferroelectric material as the electric field E is first decreased, then increased. The curves form a hysteresis loop.

Hysteresis is the dependence of the state of a system on its history. For example, a magnet may have more than one possible magnetic moment in a given magnetic field, depending on how the field changed in the past. Plots of a single component of the moment often form a loop or hysteresis curve, where there are different values of one variable depending on the direction of change of another variable. This history dependence is the basis of memory in a hard disk drive and the remanence that retains a record of the Earth's magnetic field magnitude in the past. Hysteresis occurs in ferromagnetic and ferroelectric materials, as well as in the deformation of rubber bands and shape-memory alloys and many other natural phenomena. In natural systems it is often associated with irreversible thermodynamic change such as phase transitions and with internal friction; and dissipation is a common side effect.

Magnet material or object that produces a magnetic field

A magnet is a material or object that produces a magnetic field. This magnetic field is invisible but is responsible for the most notable property of a magnet: a force that pulls on other ferromagnetic materials, such as iron, and attracts or repels other magnets.

Magnetic moment extensive physical property

The magnetic moment is the magnetic strength and orientation of a magnet or other object that produces a magnetic field. Examples of objects that have magnetic moments include: loops of electric current, permanent magnets, elementary particles, various molecules, and many astronomical objects.

Magnetic field Spatial distribution of vectors allowing the calculation of the magnetic force on a test particle

A magnetic field is a vector field that describes the magnetic influence of electric charges in relative motion and magnetized materials. The effects of magnetic fields are commonly seen in permanent magnets, which pull on magnetic materials and attract or repel other magnets. Magnetic fields surround and are created by magnetized material and by moving electric charges such as those used in electromagnets. They exert forces on nearby moving electrical charges and torques on nearby magnets. In addition, a magnetic field that varies with location exerts a force on magnetic materials. Both the strength and direction of a magnetic field vary with location. As such, it is described mathematically as a vector field.


Hysteresis can be found in physics, chemistry, engineering, biology, and economics. It is incorporated in many artificial systems: for example, in thermostats and Schmitt triggers, it prevents unwanted frequent switching.

Physics Study of the fundamental properties of matter and energy

Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its motion and behavior through space and time, and that studies the related entities of energy and force. Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, and its main goal is to understand how the universe behaves.

Chemistry scientific discipline

Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with elements and compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a reaction with other substances.

Engineering applied science

Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more specialized fields of engineering, each with a more specific emphasis on particular areas of applied mathematics, applied science, and types of application. See glossary of engineering.

Hysteresis can be a dynamic lag between an input and an output that disappears if the input is varied more slowly; this is known as rate-dependent hysteresis. However, phenomena such as the magnetic hysteresis loops are mainly rate-independent, which makes a durable memory possible.

In online gaming, lag is a noticeable delay between the action of players and the reaction of the server supporting the video game.

Systems with hysteresis are nonlinear, and can be mathematically challenging to model. Some models such as the Preisach model (originally applied to ferromagnetism) and the Bouc–Wen model attempt to capture general features of hysteresis; and there are also phenomenological models for particular phenomena such as the Jiles–Atherton model for ferromagnetism. See also Hysteretic model.

In mathematics and science, a nonlinear system is a system in which the change of the output is not proportional to the change of the input. Nonlinear problems are of interest to engineers, biologists, physicists, mathematicians, and many other scientists because most systems are inherently nonlinear in nature. Nonlinear dynamical systems, describing changes in variables over time, may appear chaotic, unpredictable, or counterintuitive, contrasting with much simpler linear systems.

Originally, the Preisach model of hysteresis generalized magnetic hysteresis as relationship between magnetic field and magnetization of a magnetic material as the parallel connection of independent relay hysterons. It was first suggested in 1935 by Ferenc (Franz) Preisach in the German academic journal "Zeitschrift für Physik". In the field of ferromagnetism, the Preisach model is sometimes thought to describe a ferromagnetic material as a network of small independently acting domains, each magnetized to a value of either or . A sample of iron, for example, may have evenly distributed magnetic domains, resulting in a net magnetic moment of zero. Mathematically similar model seems to have been independently developed in other fields of science and engineering. One notable example is the model of capillary hysteresis in porous materials developed by Everett and co-workers. Since then, following the work of people like M. Krasnoselkii, A. Pokrovskii, A. Visintin, and I.D. Mayergoyz, the model has become widely accepted as a general mathematical tool for the description of hysteresis phenomena of different kinds.

In structural engineering, the Bouc–Wen model of hysteresis is used to describe non-linear hysteretic systems. It was introduced by Robert Bouc and extended by Yi-Kwei Wen, who demonstrated its versatility by producing a variety of hysteretic patterns. This model is able to capture, in analytical form, a range of hysteretic cycle shapes matching the behaviour of a wide class of hysteretical systems. Due to its versatility and mathematical tractability, the Bouc–Wen model has gained popularity. It has been extended and applied to a wide variety of engineering problems, including multi-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) systems, buildings, frames, bidirectional and torsional response of hysteretic systems, two- and three-dimensional continua, soil liquefaction and base isolation systems. The Bouc–Wen model, its variants and extensions have been used in structural control—in particular, in the modeling of behaviour of magneto-rheological dampers, base-isolation devices for buildings and other kinds of damping devices. It has also been used in the modelling and analysis of structures built of reinforced concrete, steel, masonry, and timber.

Etymology and history

The term "hysteresis" is derived from ὑστέρησις, an Ancient Greek word meaning "deficiency" or "lagging behind". It was coined around 1890 by Sir James Alfred Ewing to describe the behaviour of magnetic materials.

Ancient Greek Version of the Greek language used from roughly the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE

The ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is often roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, and Hellenistic period. It is antedated in the second millennium BCE by Mycenaean Greek and succeeded by Medieval Greek.

Some early work on describing hysteresis in mechanical systems was performed by James Clerk Maxwell. Subsequently, hysteretic models have received significant attention in the works of Ferenc Preisach (Preisach model of hysteresis), Louis Néel and Douglas Hugh Everett in connection with magnetism and absorption. A more formal mathematical theory of systems with hysteresis was developed in the 1970s by a group of Russian mathematicians led by Mark Krasnosel'skii. [1]

James Clerk Maxwell Scottish physicist

James Clerk Maxwell was a Scottish scientist in the field of mathematical physics. His most notable achievement was to formulate the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, bringing together for the first time electricity, magnetism, and light as different manifestations of the same phenomenon. Maxwell's equations for electromagnetism have been called the "second great unification in physics" after the first one realised by Isaac Newton.

Louis Néel French physicist

Louis Eugène Félix Néel ForMemRS was a French physicist born in Lyon.

Douglas Hugh Everett FRS FRSE MBE was a British chemist and academic author. His published articles are generally under the title of D. H. Everett. His most pertinent contributions to science were in the field of thermodynamics.



One type of hysteresis is a lag between input and output. An example is a sinusoidal input X(t) that results in a sinusoidal output Y(t), but with a phase lag φ:

Such behavior can occur in linear systems, and a more general form of response is

where is the instantaneous response and is the impulse response to an impulse that occurred time units in the past. In the frequency domain, input and output are related by a complex generalized susceptibility that can be computed from ; it is mathematically equivalent to a transfer function in linear filter theory and analogue signal processing. [2]

This kind of hysteresis is often referred to as rate-dependent hysteresis. If the input is reduced to zero, the output continues to respond for a finite time. This constitutes a memory of the past, but a limited one because it disappears as the output decays to zero. The phase lag depends on the frequency of the input, and goes to zero as the frequency decreases. [2]

When rate-dependent hysteresis is due to dissipative effects like friction, it is associated with power loss. [2]


Systems with rate-independent hysteresis have a persistent memory of the past that remains after the transients have died out. [3] The future development of such a system depends on the history of states visited, but does not fade as the events recede into the past. If an input variable X(t) cycles from X0 to X1 and back again, the output Y(t) may be Y0 initially but a different value Y2 upon return. The values of Y(t) depend on the path of values that X(t) passes through but not on the speed at which it traverses the path. [2] Many authors restrict the term hysteresis to mean only rate-independent hysteresis. [4] Hysteresis effects can be characterized using the Preisach model and the generalized Prandtl−Ishlinskii model. [5]

In engineering

Control systems

In control systems, hysteresis can be used to filter signals so that the output reacts less rapidly than it otherwise would, by taking recent history into account. For example, a thermostat controlling a heater may switch the heater on when the temperature drops below A, but not turn it off until the temperature rises above B. (For instance, if one wishes to maintain a temperature of 20 °C then one might set the thermostat to turn the heater on when the temperature drops to below 18 °C and off when the temperature exceeds 22 °C).

Similarly, a pressure switch can be designed to exhibit hysteresis, with pressure set-points substituted for temperature thresholds.

Electronic circuits

Sharp hysteresis loop of a Schmitt trigger Hysteresis sharp curve.svg
Sharp hysteresis loop of a Schmitt trigger

Often, some amount of hysteresis is intentionally added to an electronic circuit to prevent unwanted rapid switching. This and similar techniques are used to compensate for contact bounce in switches, or noise in an electrical signal.

A Schmitt trigger is a simple electronic circuit that exhibits this property.

A latching relay uses a solenoid to actuate a ratcheting mechanism that keeps the relay closed even if power to the relay is terminated.

Hysteresis is essential to the workings of some memristors (circuit components which "remember" changes in the current passing through them by changing their resistance). [6]

Hysteresis can be used when connecting arrays of elements such as nanoelectronics, electrochrome cells and memory effect devices using passive matrix addressing. Shortcuts are made between adjacent components (see crosstalk) and the hysteresis helps to keep the components in a particular state while the other components change states. Thus, all rows can be addressed at the same time instead of individually.

In the field of audio electronics, a noise gate often implements hysteresis intentionally to prevent the gate from "chattering" when signals close to its threshold are applied.

User interface design

A hysteresis is sometimes intentionally added to computer algorithms. The field of user interface design has borrowed the term hysteresis to refer to times when the state of the user interface intentionally lags behind the apparent user input. For example, a menu that was drawn in response to a mouse-over event may remain on-screen for a brief moment after the mouse has moved out of the trigger region and the menu region. This allows the user to move the mouse directly to an item on the menu, even if part of that direct mouse path is outside of both the trigger region and the menu region. For instance, right-clicking on the desktop in most Windows interfaces will create a menu that exhibits this behavior.


In aerodynamics, hysteresis can be observed when decreasing the angle of attack of a wing after stall, regarding the lift and drag coefficients. The angle of attack at which the flow on top of the wing reattaches is generally lower than the angle of attack at which the flow separates during the increase of the angle of attack. [7]

In mechanics

Elastic hysteresis

Elastic hysteresis of an idealized rubber band. The area in the centre of the hysteresis loop is the energy dissipated due to internal friction. Elastic Hysteresis.svg
Elastic hysteresis of an idealized rubber band. The area in the centre of the hysteresis loop is the energy dissipated due to internal friction.

In the elastic hysteresis of rubber, the area in the centre of a hysteresis loop is the energy dissipated due to material internal friction.

Elastic hysteresis was one of the first types of hysteresis to be examined. [8] [9]

The effect can be demonstrated using a rubber band with weights attached to it. If the top of a rubber band is hung on a hook and small weights are attached to the bottom of the band one at a time, it will get longer. As more weights are loaded onto it, the band will continue to extend because the force the weights are exerting on the band is increasing. When each weight is taken off, or unloaded, the band will get shorter as the force is reduced. As the weights are taken off, each weight that produced a specific length as it was loaded onto the band now produces a slightly longer length as it is unloaded. This is because the band does not obey Hooke's law perfectly. The hysteresis loop of an idealized rubber band is shown in the figure.

In terms of force, the rubber band was harder to stretch when it was being loaded than when it was being unloaded. In terms of time, when the band is unloaded, the effect (the length) lagged behind the cause (the force of the weights) because the length has not yet reached the value it had for the same weight during the loading part of the cycle. In terms of energy, more energy was required during the loading than the unloading, the excess energy being dissipated as thermal energy.

Elastic hysteresis is more pronounced when the loading and unloading is done quickly than when it is done slowly. [10] Some materials such as hard metals don't show elastic hysteresis under a moderate load, whereas other hard materials like granite and marble do. Materials such as rubber exhibit a high degree of elastic hysteresis.

When the intrinsic hysteresis of rubber is being measured, the material can be considered to behave like a gas. When a rubber band is stretched it heats up, and if it is suddenly released, it cools down perceptibly. These effects correspond to a large hysteresis from the thermal exchange with the environment and a smaller hysteresis due to internal friction within the rubber. This proper, intrinsic hysteresis can be measured only if the rubber band is adiabatically isolated.

Small vehicle suspensions using rubber (or other elastomers) can achieve the dual function of springing and damping because rubber, unlike metal springs, has pronounced hysteresis and does not return all the absorbed compression energy on the rebound. Mountain bikes have made use of elastomer suspension, as did the original Mini car.

The primary cause of rolling resistance when a body (such as a ball, tire, or wheel) rolls on a surface is hysteresis. This is attributed to the viscoelastic characteristics of the material of the rolling body.

Contact angle hysteresis

The contact angle formed between a liquid and solid phase will exhibit a range of contact angles that are possible. There are two common methods for measuring this range of contact angles. The first method is referred to as the tilting base method. Once a drop is dispensed on the surface with the surface level, the surface is then tilted from 0° to 90°. As the drop is tilted, the downhill side will be in a state of imminent wetting while the uphill side will be in a state of imminent dewetting. As the tilt increases the downhill contact angle will increase and represents the advancing contact angle while the uphill side will decrease; this is the receding contact angle. The values for these angles just prior to the drop releasing will typically represent the advancing and receding contact angles. The difference between these two angles is the contact angle hysteresis.

The second method is often referred to as the add/remove volume method. When the maximum liquid volume is removed from the drop without the interfacial area decreasing the receding contact angle is thus measured. When volume is added to the maximum before the interfacial area increases, this is the advancing contact angle. As with the tilt method, the difference between the advancing and receding contact angles is the contact angle hysteresis. Most researchers prefer the tilt method; the add/remove method requires that a tip or needle stay embedded in the drop which can affect the accuracy of the values, especially the receding contact angle.

Bubble shape hysteresis

The equilibrium shapes of bubbles expanding and contracting on capillaries (blunt needles) can exhibit hysteresis depending on the relative magnitude of the maximum capillary pressure to ambient pressure, and the relative magnitude of the bubble volume at the maximum capillary pressure to the dead volume in the system. [11] The bubble shape hysteresis is a consequence of gas compressibility, which causes the bubbles to behave differently across expansion and contraction. During expansion, bubbles undergo large non equilibrium jumps in volume, while during contraction the bubbles are more stable and undergo a relatively smaller jump in volume resulting in an asymmetry across expansion and contraction. The bubble shape hysteresis is qualitatively similar to the adsorption hysteresis, and as in the contact angle hysteresis, the interfacial properties play an important role in bubble shape hysteresis.

The existence of the bubble shape hysteresis has important consequences in interfacial rheology experiments involving bubbles. As a result of the hysteresis, not all sizes of the bubbles can be formed on a capillary. Further the gas compressibility causing the hysteresis leads to unintended complications in the phase relation between the applied changes in interfacial area to the expected interfacial stresses. These difficulties can be avoided by designing experimental systems to avoid the bubble shape hysteresis. [11] [12]

Adsorption hysteresis

Hysteresis can also occur during physical adsorption processes. In this type of hysteresis, the quantity adsorbed is different when gas is being added than it is when being removed. The specific causes of adsorption hysteresis are still an active area of research, but it is linked to differences in the nucleation and evaporation mechanisms inside mesopores. These mechanisms are further complicated by effects such as cavitation and pore blocking.

In physical adsorption, hysteresis is evidence of mesoporosity-indeed, the definition of mesopores (2–50 nm) is associated with the appearance (50 nm) and disappearance (2 nm) of mesoporosity in nitrogen adsorption isotherms as a function of Kelvin radius. [13] An adsorption isotherm showing hysteresis is said to be of Type IV (for a wetting adsorbate) or Type V (for a non-wetting adsorbate), and hysteresis loops themselves are classified according to how symmetric the loop is. [14] Adsorption hysteresis loops also have the unusual property that it is possible to scan within a hysteresis loop by reversing the direction of adsorption while on a point on the loop. The resulting scans are called "crossing," "converging," or "returning," depending on the shape of the isotherm at this point. [15]

Matric potential hysteresis

The relationship between matric water potential and water content is the basis of the water retention curve. Matric potential measurements (Ψm) are converted to volumetric water content (θ) measurements based on a site or soil specific calibration curve. Hysteresis is a source of water content measurement error. Matric potential hysteresis arises from differences in wetting behaviour causing dry medium to re-wet; that is, it depends on the saturation history of the porous medium. Hysteretic behaviour means that, for example, at a matric potential (Ψm) of 5 kPa, the volumetric water content (θ) of a fine sandy soil matrix could be anything between 8% to 25%. [16]

Tensiometers are directly influenced by this type of hysteresis. Two other types of sensors used to measure soil water matric potential are also influenced by hysteresis effects within the sensor itself. Resistance blocks, both nylon and gypsum based, measure matric potential as a function of electrical resistance. The relation between the sensor’s electrical resistance and sensor matric potential is hysteretic. Thermocouples measure matric potential as a function of heat dissipation. Hysteresis occurs because measured heat dissipation depends on sensor water content, and the sensor water content–matric potential relationship is hysteretic. As of 2002, only desorption curves are usually measured during calibration of soil moisture sensors. Despite the fact that it can be a source of significant error, the sensor specific effect of hysteresis is generally ignored. [17]

In materials

Magnetic hysteresis

Theoretical model of magnetization m against magnetic field h. Starting at the origin, the upward curve is the initial magnetization curve. The downward curve after saturation, along with the lower return curve, form the main loop. The intercepts hc and mrs are the coercivity and saturation remanence. StonerWohlfarthMainLoop.svg
Theoretical model of magnetization m against magnetic field h. Starting at the origin, the upward curve is the initial magnetization curve. The downward curve after saturation, along with the lower return curve, form the main loop. The intercepts hc and mrs are the coercivity and saturation remanence .

When an external magnetic field is applied to a ferromagnetic material such as iron, the atomic domains align themselves with it. Even when the field is removed, part of the alignment will be retained: the material has become magnetized. Once magnetized, the magnet will stay magnetized indefinitely. To demagnetize it requires heat or a magnetic field in the opposite direction. This is the effect that provides the element of memory in a hard disk drive.

The relationship between field strength H and magnetization M is not linear in such materials. If a magnet is demagnetized (H = M = 0) and the relationship between H and M is plotted for increasing levels of field strength, M follows the initial magnetization curve. This curve increases rapidly at first and then approaches an asymptote called magnetic saturation. If the magnetic field is now reduced monotonically, M follows a different curve. At zero field strength, the magnetization is offset from the origin by an amount called the remanence. If the H-M relationship is plotted for all strengths of applied magnetic field the result is a hysteresis loop called the main loop. The width of the middle section is twice the coercivity of the material. [18]

A closer look at a magnetization curve generally reveals a series of small, random jumps in magnetization called Barkhausen jumps. This effect is due to crystallographic defects such as dislocations. [19]

Magnetic hysteresis loops are not exclusive to materials with ferromagnetic ordering. Other magnetic orderings, such as spin glass ordering, also exhibit this phenomenon. [20]

Physical origin

The phenomenon of hysteresis in ferromagnetic materials is the result of two effects: rotation of magnetization and changes in size or number of magnetic domains. In general, the magnetization varies (in direction but not magnitude) across a magnet, but in sufficiently small magnets, it does not. In these single-domain magnets, the magnetization responds to a magnetic field by rotating. Single-domain magnets are used wherever a strong, stable magnetization is needed (for example, magnetic recording).

Larger magnets are divided into regions called domains. Across each domain, the magnetization does not vary; but between domains are relatively thin domain walls in which the direction of magnetization rotates from the direction of one domain to another. If the magnetic field changes, the walls move, changing the relative sizes of the domains. Because the domains are not magnetized in the same direction, the magnetic moment per unit volume is smaller than it would be in a single-domain magnet; but domain walls involve rotation of only a small part of the magnetization, so it is much easier to change the magnetic moment. The magnetization can also change by addition or subtraction of domains (called nucleation and denucleation).

Magnetic hysteresis models

The most known empirical models in hysteresis are Preisach and Jiles-Atherton models. These models allow an accurate modeling of the hysteresis loop and are widely used in the industry. However, these models lose the connection with thermodynamics and the energy consistency is not ensured. A more recent model, with a more consistent thermodynamical foundation, is the vectorial incremental nonconservative consistent hysteresis (VINCH) model of Lavet et al (2011) [21]


There are a great variety of applications of the hysteresis in ferromagnets. Many of these make use of their ability to retain a memory, for example magnetic tape, hard disks, and credit cards. In these applications, hard magnets (high coercivity) like iron are desirable so the memory is not easily erased.

Magnetically soft (low coercivity) iron is used for the cores in electromagnets. The low coercivity reduces that energy loss associated with hysteresis. The low energy loss during a hysteresis loop is also the reason why soft iron is used for transformer cores and electric motors.

Electrical hysteresis

Electrical hysteresis typically occurs in ferroelectric material, where domains of polarization contribute to the total polarization. Polarization is the electrical dipole moment (either C·m −2 or C·m). The mechanism, an organization of the polarization into domains, is similar to that of magnetic hysteresis.

Liquid–solid-phase transitions

Hysteresis manifests itself in state transitions when melting temperature and freezing temperature do not agree. For example, agar melts at 85 °C and solidifies from 32 to 40 °C. This is to say that once agar is melted at 85 °C, it retains a liquid state until cooled to 40 °C. Therefore, from the temperatures of 40 to 85 °C, agar can be either solid or liquid, depending on which state it was before.

In biology

Cell biology and genetics

Hysteresis in cell biology often follows bistable systems where the same input state can lead to two different, stable outputs. Where bistability can lead to digital, switch-like outputs from the continuous inputs of chemical concentrations and activities, hysteresis makes these systems more resistant to noise. These systems are often characterized by higher values of the input required to switch into a particular state as compared to the input required to stay in the state, allowing for a transition that is not continuously reversible, and thus less susceptible to noise.

Cells undergoing cell division exhibit hysteresis in that it takes a higher concentration of cyclins to switch them from G2 phase into mitosis than to stay in mitosis once begun. [22] [23]

Biochemical systems can also show hysteresis-like output when slowly varying states that are not directly monitored are involved, as in the case of the cell cycle arrest in yeast exposed to mating pheromone. [24] Here, the duration of cell cycle arrest depends not only on the final level of input Fus3, but also on the previously achieved Fus3 levels. This effect is achieved due to the slower time scales involved in the transcription of intermediate Far1, such that the total Far1 activity reaches its equilibrium value slowly, and for transient changes in Fus3 concentration, the response of the system depends on the Far1 concentration achieved with the transient value. Experiments in this type of hysteresis benefit from the ability to change the concentration of the inputs with time. The mechanisms are often elucidated by allowing independent control of the concentration of the key intermediate, for instance, by using an inducible promoter.

Darlington in his classic works on genetics [25] [26] discussed hysteresis of the chromosomes, by which he meant "failure of the external form of the chromosomes to respond immediately to the internal stresses due to changes in their molecular spiral", as they lie in a somewhat rigid medium in the limited space of the cell nucleus.

In developmental biology, cell type diversity is regulated by long range-acting signaling molecules called morphogens that pattern uniform pools of cells in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. The morphogen sonic hedgehog (Shh), for example, acts on limb bud and neural progenitors to induce expression of a set of homeodomain-containing transcription factors to subdivide these tissues into distinct domains. It has been shown that these tissues have a 'memory' of previous exposure to Shh. [27] In neural tissue, this hysteresis is regulated by a homeodomain (HD) feedback circuit that amplifies Shh signaling. [28] In this circuit, expression of Gli transcription factors, the executors of the Shh pathway, is suppressed. Glis are processed to repressor forms (GliR) in the absence of Shh, but in the presence of Shh, a proportion of Glis are maintained as full-length proteins allowed to translocate to the nucleus, where they act as activators (GliA) of transcription. By reducing Gli expression then, the HD transcription factors reduce the total amount of Gli (GliT), so a higher proportion of GliT can be stabilized as GliA for the same concentration of Shh.


There is some evidence that T cells exhibit hysteresis in that it takes a lower signal threshold to activate T cells that have been previously activated. Ras activation is required for downstream effector functions of activated T cells. [29] Triggering of the T cell receptor induces high levels of Ras activation, which results in higher levels of GTP-bound (active) Ras at the cell surface. Since higher levels of active Ras have accumulated at the cell surface in T cells that have been previously stimulated by strong engagement of the T cell receptor, weaker subsequent T cell receptor signals received shortly afterwards will deliver the same level of activation due to the presence of higher levels of already activated Ras as compared to a naïve cell.


The property by which some neurons do not return to their basal conditions from a stimulated condition immediately after removal of the stimulus is an example of hysteresis.

Respiratory physiology

Lung hysteresis is evident when observing the compliance of a lung on inspiration versus expiration. The difference in compliance (Δvolume/Δpressure) is due to the additional energy required to overcome surface tension forces during inspiration to recruit and inflate additional alveoli. [30]

The transpulmonary pressure vs Volume curve of inhalation is different from the Pressure vs Volume curve of exhalation, the difference being described as hysteresis. Lung volume at any given pressure during inhalation is less than the lung volume at any given pressure during exhalation. [31]

Voice and speech physiology

A hysteresis effect may be observed in voicing onset versus offset. [32] The threshold value of the subglottal pressure required to start the vocal fold vibration is lower than the threshold value at which the vibration stops, when other parameters are kept constant. In utterances of vowel-voiceless consonant-vowel sequences during speech, the intraoral pressure is lower at the voice onset of the second vowel compared to the voice offset of the first vowel, the oral airflow is lower, the transglottal pressure is larger and the glottal width is smaller.

Ecology and epidemiology

Hysteresis is a commonly encountered phenomenon in ecology and epidemiology, where the observed equilibrium of a system can not be predicted solely based on environmental variables, but also requires knowledge of the system's past history.[ citation needed ] Notable examples include the theory of spruce budworm outbreaks and behavioral-effects on disease transmission.

In economics

Economic systems can exhibit hysteresis. For example, export performance is subject to strong hysteresis effects: because of the fixed transportation costs it may take a big push to start a country's exports, but once the transition is made, not much may be required to keep them going.

When some negative shock reduces employment in a company or industry, fewer employed workers then remain. As usually the employed workers have the power to set wages, their reduced number incentivizes them to bargain for even higher wages when the economy again gets better instead of letting the wage be at the equilibrium wage level, where the supply and demand of workers would match. This causes hysteresis: the unemployment becomes permanently higher after negative shocks. [33] [34]

Permanently higher unemployment

The idea of hysteresis is used extensively in the area of labor economics, specifically with reference to the unemployment rate. [35] According to theories based on hysteresis, severe economic downturns (recession) and/or persistent stagnation (slow demand growth, usually after a recession) cause unemployed individuals to lose their job skills (commonly developed on the job) or to find that their skills have become obsolete, or become demotivated, disillusioned or depressed or lose job-seeking skills. In addition, employers may use time spent in unemployment as a screening tool, i.e., to weed out less desired employees in hiring decisions. Then, in times of an economic upturn, recovery, or "boom", the affected workers will not share in the prosperity, remaining unemployed for long periods (e.g., over 52 weeks). This makes unemployment "structural", i.e., extremely difficult to reduce simply by increasing the aggregate demand for products and labor without causing increased inflation. That is, it is possible that a ratchet effect in unemployment rates exists, so a short-term rise in unemployment rates tends to persist. For example, traditional anti-inflationary policy (the use of recession to fight inflation) leads to a permanently higher "natural" rate of unemployment (more scientifically known as the NAIRU). This occurs first because inflationary expectations are "sticky" downward due to wage and price rigidities (and so adapt slowly over time rather than being approximately correct as in theories of rational expectations) and second because labor markets do not clear instantly in response to unemployment.

The existence of hysteresis has been put forward as a possible explanation for the persistently high unemployment of many economies in the 1990s. Hysteresis has been invoked by Olivier Blanchard among others to explain the differences in long run unemployment rates between Europe and the United States. Labor market reform (usually meaning institutional change promoting more flexible wages, firing, and hiring) or strong demand-side economic growth may not therefore reduce this pool of long-term unemployed. Thus, specific targeted training programs are presented as a possible policy solution. [33] However, the hysteresis hypothesis suggests such training programs are aided by persistently high demand for products (perhaps with incomes policies to avoid increased inflation), which reduces the transition costs out of unemployment and into paid employment easier.

Game theory

Hysteresis occurs in applications of game theory to economics, in models with product quality, agent honesty or corruption of various institutions. Slightly different initial conditions can lead to opposite outcomes and resulting stable good and bad equilibria.[ citation needed ]

Additional considerations

Models of hysteresis

Each subject that involves hysteresis has models that are specific to the subject. In addition, there are models that capture general features of many systems with hysteresis. [1] [36] An example is the Preisach model of hysteresis, which represents a hysteresis nonlinearity as a linear superposition of square loops called non-ideal relays. [1] Many complex models of hysteresis arise from the simple parallel connection, or superposition, of elementary carriers of hysteresis termed hysterons.

A simple and intuitive parametric description of various hysteresis loops may be found in the Lapshin model. [36] Along with the classical loop, substitution of trapezoidal or triangle pulses instead of the harmonic functions allows piecewise-linear hysteresis loops frequently used in discrete automatics to be built in the model. There is an implementation of the hysteresis model in R programming language (package Hysteresis [37] ).

The Bouc–Wen model of hysteresis is often used to describe non-linear hysteretic systems. It was introduced by Bouc [38] [39] and extended by Wen, [40] who demonstrated its versatility by producing a variety of hysteretic patterns. This model is able to capture in analytical form, a range of shapes of hysteretic cycles which match the behaviour of a wide class of hysteretical systems; therefore, given its versability and mathematical tractability, the Bouc–Wen model has quickly gained popularity and has been extended and applied to a wide variety of engineering problems, including multi-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) systems, buildings, frames, bidirectional and torsional response of hysteretic systems two- and three-dimensional continua, and soil liquefaction among others. The Bouc–Wen model and its variants/extensions have been used in applications of structural control, in particular in the modeling of the behaviour of magnetorheological dampers, base isolation devices for buildings and other kinds of damping devices; it has also been used in the modelling and analysis of structures built of reinforced concrete, steel, masonry and timber.[ citation needed ]. The most important extension of Bouc-Wen Model was carried out by Baber and Noori and later by Noori and co-workers. That extended model, named, BWBN, can reproduce the complex shear pinching or slip-lock phenomenon that earlier model could not reproduce. BWBN model has been widely used in a wide spectrum of applications and have been incorporated in several software codes such as OpenSees.


When hysteresis occurs with extensive and intensive variables, the work done on the system is the area under the hysteresis graph.

See also

Related Research Articles


In a dynamical system, bistability means the system has two stable equilibrium states. Something that is bistable can be resting in either of two states. These rest states need not be symmetric with respect to stored energy. An example of a mechanical device which is bistable is a light switch. The switch lever is designed to rest in the "on" or "off" position, but not between the two. Bistable behavior can occur in mechanical linkages, electronic circuits, nonlinear optical systems, chemical reactions, and physiological and biological systems.

Ferromagnetism physical phenomenon

Ferromagnetism is the basic mechanism by which certain materials form permanent magnets, or are attracted to magnets. In physics, several different types of magnetism are distinguished. Ferromagnetism is the strongest type and is responsible for the common phenomenon of magnetism in magnets encountered in everyday life. Substances respond weakly to magnetic fields with three other types of magnetism—paramagnetism, diamagnetism, and antiferromagnetism—but the forces are usually so weak that they can only be detected by sensitive instruments in a laboratory. An everyday example of ferromagnetism is a refrigerator magnet used to hold notes on a refrigerator door. The attraction between a magnet and ferromagnetic material is "the quality of magnetism first apparent to the ancient world, and to us today".

Electromagnet Type of magnet in which the magnetic field is produced by the flow of electric current

An electromagnet is a type of magnet in which the magnetic field is produced by an electric current. Electromagnets usually consist of wire wound into a coil. A current through the wire creates a magnetic field which is concentrated in the hole, denoting the center of the coil. The magnetic field disappears when the current is turned off. The wire turns are often wound around a magnetic core made from a ferromagnetic or ferrimagnetic material such as iron; the magnetic core concentrates the magnetic flux and makes a more powerful magnet.

Magnetostriction is a property of ferromagnetic materials that causes them to change their shape or dimensions during the process of magnetization. The variation of materials' magnetization due to the applied magnetic field changes the magnetostrictive strain until reaching its saturation value, λ. The effect was first identified in 1842 by James Joule when observing a sample of iron.

Remanence or remanent magnetization or residual magnetism is the magnetization left behind in a ferromagnetic material after an external magnetic field is removed. Colloquially, when a magnet is "magnetized" it has remanence. The remanence of magnetic materials provides the magnetic memory in magnetic storage devices, and is used as a source of information on the past Earth's magnetic field in paleomagnetism.

Coercivity measure of the ability of a ferromagnetic material to withstand an external magnetic field without becoming demagnetized

In electrical engineering and materials science, the coercivity, also called the magnetic coercivity, coercive field or coercive force, is a measure of the ability of a ferromagnetic material to withstand an external magnetic field without becoming demagnetized. An analogous property, electric coercivity, is the ability of a ferroelectric material to withstand an external electric field without becoming depolarized.

Magnetic hysteresis

Magnetic hysteresis occurs when an external magnetic field is applied to a ferromagnet such as iron and the atomic dipoles align themselves with it. Even when the field is removed, part of the alignment will be retained: the material has become magnetized. Once magnetized, the magnet will stay magnetized indefinitely. To demagnetize it requires heat or a magnetic field in the opposite direction. This is the effect that provides the element of memory in a hard disk drive.

Giant magnetoresistance

Giant magnetoresistance (GMR) is a quantum mechanical magnetoresistance effect observed in multilayers composed of alternating ferromagnetic and non-magnetic conductive layers. The 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Albert Fert and Peter Grünberg for the discovery of GMR.

Rock magnetism The study of magnetism in rocks

Rock magnetism is the study of the magnetic properties of rocks, sediments and soils. The field arose out of the need in paleomagnetism to understand how rocks record the Earth's magnetic field. This remanence is carried by minerals, particularly certain strongly magnetic minerals like magnetite. An understanding of remanence helps paleomagnetists to develop methods for measuring the ancient magnetic field and correct for effects like sediment compaction and metamorphism. Rock magnetic methods are used to get a more detailed picture of the source of distinctive striped pattern in marine magnetic anomalies that provides important information on plate tectonics. They are also used to interpret terrestrial magnetic anomalies in magnetic surveys as well as the strong crustal magnetism on Mars.

Saturation (magnetic) state when increasing an applied magnetic H field does not increase magnetization further, in some magnetic materials

Seen in some magnetic materials, saturation is the state reached when an increase in applied external magnetic field H cannot increase the magnetization of the material further, so the total magnetic flux density B more or less levels off. Saturation is a characteristic of ferromagnetic and ferrimagnetic materials, such as iron, nickel, cobalt and their alloys.

Exchange bias or exchange anisotropy occurs in bilayers of magnetic materials where the hard magnetization behavior of an antiferromagnetic thin film causes a shift in the soft magnetization curve of a ferromagnetic film. The exchange bias phenomenon is of tremendous utility in magnetic recording, where it is used to pin the state of the readback heads of hard disk drives at exactly their point of maximum sensitivity; hence the term "bias."

Magnetic domain Region of a magnetic material in which the magnetization has uniform direction

A magnetic domain is a region within a magnetic material in which the magnetization is in a uniform direction. This means that the individual magnetic moments of the atoms are aligned with one another and they point in the same direction. When cooled below a temperature called the Curie temperature, the magnetization of a piece of ferromagnetic material spontaneously divides into many small regions called magnetic domains. The magnetization within each domain points in a uniform direction, but the magnetization of different domains may point in different directions. Magnetic domain structure is responsible for the magnetic behavior of ferromagnetic materials like iron, nickel, cobalt and their alloys, and ferrimagnetic materials like ferrite. This includes the formation of permanent magnets and the attraction of ferromagnetic materials to a magnetic field. The regions separating magnetic domains are called domain walls, where the magnetization rotates coherently from the direction in one domain to that in the next domain. The study of magnetic domains is called micromagnetics.

A nonlinear dynamical system exhibits chaotic hysteresis if it simultaneously exhibits chaotic dynamics and hysteresis. As the latter involves the persistence of a state, such as magnetization, after the causal or exogenous force or factor is removed, it involves multiple equilibria for given sets of control conditions. Such systems generally exhibit sudden jumps from one equilibrium state to another. If chaotic dynamics appear either prior to or just after such jumps, or are persistent throughout each of the various equilibrium states, then the system is said to exhibit chaotic hysteresis. Chaotic dynamics are irregular and bounded and subject to sensitive dependence on initial conditions.

The article Ferromagnetic material properties is intended to contain a glossary of terms used to describe ferromagnetic materials, and magnetic cores.

Single domain, in magnetism, refers to the state of a ferromagnet in which the magnetization does not vary across the magnet. A magnetic particle that stays in a single domain state for all magnetic fields is called a single domain particle. Such particles are very small. They are also very important in a lot of applications because they have a high coercivity. They are the main source of hardness in hard magnets, the carriers of magnetic storage in tape drives, and the best recorders of the ancient Earth's magnetic field.

The Stoner–Wohlfarth model is a widely used model for the magnetization of single-domain ferromagnets. It is a simple example of magnetic hysteresis and is useful for modeling small magnetic particles in magnetic storage, biomagnetism, rock magnetism and paleomagnetism.

Demagnetizing field Internal magnetic field generated by a magnet

The demagnetizing field, also called the stray field, is the magnetic field (H-field) generated by the magnetization in a magnet. The total magnetic field in a region containing magnets is the sum of the demagnetizing fields of the magnets and the magnetic field due to any free currents or displacement currents. The term demagnetizing field reflects its tendency to act on the magnetization so as to reduce the total magnetic moment. It gives rise to shape anisotropy in ferromagnets with a single magnetic domain and to magnetic domains in larger ferromagnets.


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Further reading