The Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium is the statement that allele frequencies in a population remain constant over time, in the absence of forces to change them. Its name derives from Godfrey Hardy, an English mathematician, and Wilhelm Weinberg, a German physician, who independently formulated it in the early twentieth century. The statement and the set of assumptions and mathematical tools that accompany it are used by population geneticists to analyze the occurrence of, and reasons for, changes in allele frequency. Evolution in a population is often defined as a change in allele frequency over time. The Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, therefore, can be used to test whether evolution is occurring in populations.
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