A suspension of plastic spheres can remember multiple driving amplitudes that were applied to it, but forgets most of them in the steady state. This behavior occurs also in charge-density wave conductors and a model of worn grass between park benches. 

Despite the ubiquity of memory formation in condensed matter, there is presently no overarching framework for classifying memory behaviors. This review article considers memory formation across a broad range of systems (memories in rocks, rubber, glasses, and amorphous solids; memories in magnetic systems; echo phenomena; shape memory; associative memory; etc.), with an eye towards developing unifying conceptual underpinnings for material memories. Such a study of memory formation provides a setting for exploring some of the most fascinating aspects of history-dependence, dynamics, and information storage in far-from-equilibrium systems.