Complexity Explorer Santa Fe Institute


catastrophe theory

In mathematics, catastrophe theory is a branch of bifurcation theory in the study of dynamical systems; it is also a particular special case of general singularity theory in geometry. Small changes in certain parameters of a nonlinear system can cause equilibria to appear or disappear, or to change from attracting to repelling and vice versa, leading to large and sudden changes of the behaviour of the system. However, examined in a larger parameter space, catastrophe theory reveals that such bifurcation points tend to occur as part of well-defined qualitative geometrical structures.


Topics
Nonlinear Dynamics, Dynamical Systems, Mathematics
Difficulty
1