We usually associate the phenomenon of hysteresis with memory in the system. For example, magnetic hysteresis is the basis of hard disks(if I recall it correctly). There are also electronic circuits(like Schmitt trigger) which exhibit hysteresis and thus memory.
Now coming to my question. I study about lipid membranes using all-atom classical molecular dynamics(MD) simulations. Recently, I read Sun & Böckmann's 2018 paper Membrane phase transition during heating and cooling: molecular insight into reversible melting (NB: PDF), which reports replication of phase transition in-silico in lipid membranes as a variable of temperature. But the interesting thing is that the phase changes at a temperature(T1) when you increase the temperature, but while reducing the temperature you see phase transition not at T1, but at T2. This is called Thermal Hysteresis.
- My question is what kind of memory this system has?
- Can we use this phenomenon for some practical use?
- And what biological significance does this possibly imply?