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catastrophe theory

noun, Mathematics.
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for catastrophe theory

catastrophe theory

  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
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Contemporary definitions for catastrophe theory

a branch of mathematics that deals with systems which have major abrupt changes, esp. using topology to explain events's 21st Century Lexicon
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