Memristor Equations: Incomplete Physics and Undefined Passivity/Activity

Kyle M. Sundqvist, David K. Ferry, Laszlo B. Kish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In his seminal paper, Chua presented a fundamental physical claim by introducing the memristor, "The missing circuit element". The memristor equations were originally supposed to represent a passive circuit element because, with active circuitry, arbitrary elements can be realized without limitations. Therefore, if the memristor equations do not guarantee that the circuit element can be realized by a passive system, the fundamental physics claims about the memristor as "missing circuit element" loses all its weight. The question of passivity/activity belongs to physics thus we incorporate thermodynamics into the study of this problem. We show that the memristor equations are physically incomplete regarding the problem of passivity/activity. As a consequence, the claim that the present memristor functions describe a passive device lead to unphysical results, such as violating the Second Law of thermodynamics, in infinitely large number of cases. The seminal memristor equations cannot introduce a new physical circuit element without making the model more physical such as providing the Fluctuation-Dissipation Theory of memristors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1771001
JournalFluctuation and Noise Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Memristors
  • activity
  • incomplete models
  • passivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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