# power law

A power law is a type of mathematical pattern in which the frequency of an occurrence of a given size is inversely proportional to some power (or exponent) of its size. For example, in the case of avalanches or earthquakes, large ones are fairly rare, smaller ones are much more frequent, and in between are cascades of different sizes and frequencies. Power laws define the distribution of catastrophic events in self-organized critical systems (see self-organization).