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Is perturbation theory usually taught in undergraduate physics, and how much of it is taught in quantum mechanics courses?

Also, how much of quantum field theory would be taught in undergraduate physics?

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Yes, it is taught, but not too much. It depends on what classes you take. Usually QFT is a graduate class, but you can take it as an undergraduate, there are no armed thugs at the door stopping you. This question is weird. What do you mean "how much?" Usually you learn E and B perturbations of H-atom, a few finite dimensional problems, and Fermi's golden rule for atomic transitions and that's it. But it depends on the instructor. How is one supposed to answer this question? –  Ron Maimon Aug 9 '12 at 9:05
    
your question might fit also on this brand new SE proposal: undergrauates. –  Daniele B Jan 24 '13 at 16:26

2 Answers 2

Yes, pertubation theory would be taught in most undergraduate physics courses. As Ron points out this will typically be at the level of the H atom or simple many-body systems. Maybe a bit futher depending on any optional courses.

QFT is typically a graduate level course, occasionally elements of it are options in the final year although not a full treatment. If you are looking at courses and this is something that interests you then it's probably something to ask about

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Additional supporting data points: It was taught in the undergrad classes I took at RPI. We did not get into field theory or second quantization. –  Colin Fredericks Aug 9 '12 at 14:36

It really depends on the university you are attending. In the physics undergraduate course at Oxford University we were taught PT in quite a lot of detail in the second year - much more than just the H atom - and went on to apply it in nearly every part of the course thereafter. We were offered optional courses in QFT and other theoretical physics in the (optional) bolt-on Masters year.

However, my understanding is that this is unusual; I know people from other universities that didn't learn any perturbation theory until their third year, and not in the detail that we studied it.

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