Basic Concepts

Part of the Encyclopaedia of Mathematical Sciences book series (volume 5)


The term catastrophe was introduced by R Thom (1972) in order to denote a qualitative change in an object as the parameters upon which it depends change smoothly. This term, replacing the previously used terms bifurcation, perestroika, and metamorphosis, gained wide popularity after Zeeman (1976) suggested the use of the name catastrophe theory to unite singularity theory, bifurcation theory and their applications.


Minimal Surface Typical Family External Parameter Bifurcation Theory Internal Parameter 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Steklov Mathematical InstituteMoscowRussia

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