Before giving an answer let’s take a quick look at the fields of mathematics that are relevant to the study of universal singularities. One of them is the study of differential equations, a field known today as “dynamical systems theory”, and another is the field known as “group theory”, a field that was born from the study of algebraic equations. The ancestor of the theory of dynamical systems is a mathematical method invented by the great eighteenth century mathematician Leonard Euler, “the calculus of variations”, a method that could reveal the singularities structuring the space of possible solutions to differential equations. The singularities discovered by Euler were of a very simple type: minimum and maximum points. But the behavior of many physical systems is governed by minima or maxima of some quantity. The spherical shape of a soap bubble, for example, emerges spontaneously and recurrently because the entire population of molecules constituting a piece of soap film has the tendency to be in whatever state minimizes surface tension. The cubic shape of a crystal of ordinary table salt also emerges spontaneously and recurrently because its constituent atoms of sodium and chlorine have a tendency to minimize bonding energy. (DeLanda 2010:87)
DELANDA, Manuel. 2010. Deleuze: History and Science. New York: Atropos Press.