catastrophe theory


Definition of catastrophe theory

: mathematical theory and conjecture that uses topology to explain events (such as an earthquake or a stock market crash) characterized by major abrupt changes

Examples of catastrophe theory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Vogel reports that Stanley Ambrose of the University of Illinois, one of the originators of the Toba catastrophe theory, argues that layers of sand above the ash indicates climate change at the Pinnacles site and a decrease in population. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Ancient Humans Weathered the Toba Supervolcano Just Fine," 14 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'catastrophe theory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of catastrophe theory

1971, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of catastrophe theory was in 1971

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Cite this Entry

“Catastrophe theory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

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