March 8, 2018

Catastrophe Theory and the Jam Jar explosion!

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:11 am by aleksan

Have you ever noticed the interesting spike graph on the top of your cup of tea? This is the graph for Catastrophe Theory – a mathematical theory that explains why suddenly things are stable and then become unstable.  This phenomenon occurs everywhere in the natural world – a good example might be when a dog forces a rat into a corner, and is then attacked by the rat and bitten.  Fight or flight – the rat is scared and tries to run away, and then at a certain point flight turns to fight when fear turns to rage.   I placed a pot of Apricot jam too near the end of the table this morning – it gradually toppled over, hit the floor and exploded leaving bits of glass and jam all over the floor!  One moment all was stable, then a second later all was chaotic.  Penny cleared it up very patiently and without accusation…she knows I can be a bit doddery at times and I appreciate her kindness.  It can all be explained on the top of that cup of tea or coffee if you look carefully when there is a strong light source like the Sun or a Light – try it.

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