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Etymology: L, per + tubare, to disturb
a cause or a condition of disturbance, disorder, or confusion.


In physical therapy, an external force applied to a person's center of mass in an attempt to move it from the base of support


(pĕr″tĕr-bā′shŭn) [L. perturbare, thoroughly disordered]
1. The state of being greatly disturbed or agitated; uneasiness of mind.
2. A disturbance or a change in a structure or function, usually as a result of an external influence.


n a small disturbance that tips a metastable system over into disorder and chaos.
References in periodicals archive ?
Working on a wireless bow for a hyperviolin in 1993, Gershenfeld, Paradiso, and their colleagues ran into some puzzling observations stemming from unexpected ways that objects, including people, can perturb electric fields.
Driven by increasing snowmelt and rains, this trend, if it continues, could perturb the northern temperate and arctic climate, argues Bruce J.
Though plants need nitrogen to grow, a new study finds that even small additions of this fertilizing pollutant can perturb the landscape.
In this scenario, a second, distant large body like a planet or a companion star gravitationally perturbs a planet's orbit, tilting it with respect to the star's rotation.
The outer Oort cloud is distinguished from the inner Oort cloud because in the outer Oort cloud, starting around 1500 AU, the gravity from other nearby stars perturbs the orbits of the objects, causing objects in the outer Oort cloud to have orbits that change drastically over time.