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catastrophe theory

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noun Mathematics.
  1. a theory, based on topology, for studying discontinuous processes and the mathematical models that describe them.

Origin of catastrophe theory

First recorded in 1970–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for catastrophe theory

catastrophe theory

noun
    1. a mathematical theory that classifies surfaces according to their form
    2. the popular application of this theory to the explanation of abruptly changing phenomena, as by the discontinuity of a line on the topmost fold of a folded surface
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012