Perturbation theory refers to methods for understanding physical systems by treating them as small modifications to exactly solvable systems.

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What is the perturbative vacuum?

Will someone please supply me with a good definition of the perturbative vacuum vis a vis quantum cosmology?
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Why cannot we apply perturbation theory in Born-Oppenheimer approximation

In Weinberg's Lectures on Quantum Mechanics, he mentions Unfortunately, we cannot simply use first-order perturbation theory, with $T_{nuc}$ taken as the perturbation and the state vectors ...
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Difference between positron and electron scattering in Coulomb field

In first order of perturbation theory the S-matrix amplitude for electron scattering in the Coulomb field will be (up to normalization factors) $$ S_{fi} = \frac{iZ q^2}{\sqrt{2E_{f}2E_{i}}}\bar ...
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How do I properly express adding perturbed states to unperturbed states?

I have a problem set due tomorrow, and the last problem is driving me nuts. Been combing through griffiths trying to find similar examples to no avail, so it'd be greatly appreciated if stackexchange ...
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Why do some terms vanish in first-order perturbation theory?

In first order perturbation theory, we usually express the first order perturbation in the eigenket of the perturbed Hamiltonian in the basis of the unperturbed Hamiltonian $H_{0}$: ...
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Interpreting perturbation theory in general relativity

In quantum mechanics we start with a Hamiltonian $H_0$ for which we know the exact eigenstates and energy eigenvalues. We perturb it by a known term $H$, and then attempt to compute (approximately) ...
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Field Strength Renorm in Peskin&Schroeder

On page 237 in PS we have (the unnumbered equation after eq. 7.58) $$\mathcal{P} \sim \frac{iZ}{p^2-m^2-iZ\,\mathrm{Im}M^2(p^2)}$$ but after deriving it myself I obtained $$\mathcal{P} \sim ...
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185 views

How explain this perturbing equation about the 43 arcseconds?

The planetary orbits have been studied as ellipses but the solar system is in motion in relation to the distant stars. Their path is along the tip of an helix and the ecliptic plane is a convenient ...
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What is the physical meaning of the “decay rate” in Fermis golden rule? [duplicate]

As far as I understood, Fermi's golden rule gives a prediction of the transition rate in a perturbed quantum system $H_0+V$ between two eigenstates of the unperturbed system $H_0$, say from $\left| ...
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83 views

Perturbation of a Hydrogen Atom in a Quadrupole Field

Question: A hydrogen atom is located in a quadrupole field, which gives it a perturbation $$H_1=A(x^2-y^2)$$ where $A$ is some constant. Calculate the ...
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227 views

Stationary Perturbation Theory : Estimating higher order corrections for anharmonic oscillator

Note $\hbar = 1$. $$H = H_0 + \lambda V =\frac{p^2}{2m} + m\omega^2x^2 + \lambda m^2\omega^3 x^4$$ Supposedly the perturbation expansion diverges. We are supposed to estimate for what order we have a ...
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Linear Metric Perturbation and Brans-Dicke Theory

Recently, I have been researching about modified gravity theories and one of the theories has been the theory of the graviton. If one starts with the metric tensor $g_{\mu\nu}$ and then performs the ...
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585 views

Divergent Series

Why is it that divergent series make sense? Specifically, by basic calculus a sum such as $1 - 1 + 1 ...$ describes a divergent series (where divergent := non-convergent sequence of partial sums) ...
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Peskin's book page 334 proof of $Z_1=Z_2$ to all orders in QED perturbation theory

Peskin in his QFT page 334 argued that $Z_1=Z_2$ to all orders in QED perturbation theory, but I couldn't understand his argument: ... With a generalization of the argument given there (section ...
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97 views

Clarify formula in quantum perturbation theory

I'm studying perturbation theory in the context of quantum mechanics. My lecture notes say that in order to calculate the first-order correction of eigenfunction $\psi_n$, that is $\psi_n^{(1)}$, I ...
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76 views

The expansion of a function in powers of a parameter

In the perturbation theory for non-degenerate levels, the energy $E_n(\lambda)$ of an eigenstate $|\psi_n(\lambda)\rangle$ of the hamiltonian $\mathcal{H}=\mathcal{H}_0+\lambda \mathcal{H}_1$ (where ...
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QM : Perturbation theory with multiple operators

When doing perturbation theory in quantum mechanics, if the perturbation hamiltonian is made of three terms : $$W = W_1 +W_2 + W_3,$$ can I treat each term separately and performing perturbation ...
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194 views

Lagrangian density of an interacting real scalar field theory

Srednicki writes the Lagrangian density of an interacting scalar field theory as $$ \mathcal{L} = -\frac{1}{2} Z_\phi \partial^\mu \phi \partial_\mu \phi -\frac{1}{2} Z_m m^2 \phi^2 + \frac{1}{6} Z_g ...
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The nature of theoretical models

Mathematics is exact. It is a beautiful language that allows us to express quantities that aren't possible to be represented physically. We build theoretical models of physical systems that work out ...
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QM perturbation theory : When do I have to use degenerate/non-degenerate perturbation theory?

I am considering a perturbation theory problem in quantum mechanics. The unperturbed hamiltonian is $$H_0 = A_1 \boldsymbol{B} S_{1z} + A_2 \boldsymbol{B} S_{2z}.$$ The eigenstates of the unperturbed ...
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51 views

Perturbations in arbitrary dimensions

In general is it acceptable to say that if a perturbation is in only one spatial direction then the energy eigenvalue to second order is only changed in that spatial direction? For example 3D ...
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160 views

Separation of perturbative and non-perturbative contributions in partition function computation

The following is defined, where $\epsilon \to 0^+$ is a cutoff: $$ \mathcal{F}(Z)=\int_{\epsilon}^\infty \frac{\mathrm{d}s}{s} \frac{1}{\sinh^2 s/2} e^{-sx}. $$ Question: how do we see that ...
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The Origins of Instantons from Path Integrals

I know that you can come across non-perturbative effects in QFT, particular when the coupling constant lies outside the radius of convergence of the asympototic perturbation series. From the ...
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280 views

Second order degenerate perturbation theory

What is a good resource to learn about higher degree degenerate perturbation theory - one that involves mathematics that isn't much more advanced than first order perturbation theory? I've looked ...
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424 views

Small oscillations of heavy string

I'm solving problem in classical field theory and I have some difficulties. I'm trying to study small oscilations of heavy string with fixed points. First of all I wrote down this Lagrangian: ...
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How does one actually compute the amplituhedron?

I was watching Nima's very popular talk (download if you're using chrome) (also mirrored at youtube here) about the "Amplituhedron", which has suddenly become very popular recently. He talks all ...
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326 views

Perturbation theory

I am puzzled with perturbation theory when studying quantum mechanics and solid theory. What I learn about perturbation is, from my ignorant point of view, just mathematics, or even simpler, matrix ...
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268 views

Coupled Oscillators

This is an exercise of my last exam. Since I couldn't find anybody who solved it or knows how to, it would be really nice if somebody could tell me if my thoughts on it go into the right direction. ...
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73 views

Adiabatic theorem in the regime of quantum optics

I am wondering whether there is a version of adiabatic theorem in the regime of quantum optics. My understanding of quantum optics involves with the interaction between photon and atom. This ...
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79 views

Exact summation of a sub-class of diagram: do we know the exact solved problem?

In quantum field theories (to be relativistic, (non-)relativistic statistical or whatever), we have the powerful diagrammatic approach at our disposal. Most of the time we can not sum up all the ...
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Are third derivatives of metric perturbations zero?

I'm working on a problem related to fluid perturbations of stars. I'm following this paper. They start with the Einstein equation: $$G_{\alpha \beta} = 8 \pi G T_{\alpha \beta}$$ and then perturb the ...
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245 views

Spin degeneracy in perturbation theory

In pag. 270 of Griffith's "Introduction to Quantum Mechanics" a perturbative method for finding relativist correction to the energy levels of the Hydrogen athom is exposed. It is asserted, if I ...
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How can an asymptotic expansion give an extremely accurate predication, as in QED?

What is the meaning of "twenty digits accuracy" of certain QED calculations? If I take too little loops, or too many of them, the result won't be as accurate, so do people stop adding loops when the ...
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No mixing in light cone perturbation theory

In hep-ph/0609090, Triumvirate of Running Couplings in Small-x Evolution, Kovchegov et. al. calculated the running coupling correction to the Jalilian-Marian, Iancu, McLerran, Weigert, Leonidov and ...
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Nature of Perturbed state in Perturbation Theory?

I'm interested in the Nature of Perturbed state in Perturbation Theory. The first order perturbed state is given by $$\psi^{(1)}_{n}=\Sigma_{m}a_{m}\psi^{(0)}_{m}.$$ Where ...
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Perturbed stress-energy tensor in a cosmological context?

In the theory of cosmological pertubations, we can write the metric of a null-curvature expanding Universe as : $ds^2 = -c^2\left(1+2\frac{\psi}{c^2}\right)dt^2 + a^2 ...
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What can be the smallest chaotic system?

As I am talking about 'smallest' can I expect that it should be a quantum system? I understand that we use quantum chaos theory instead of perturbation theory when the perturbation is not small. For ...
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Why must the gravitational wave components be much less than unity?

We start with the metric tensor \begin{equation} g_{\mu\nu}(x) = \eta_{\mu\nu} + h_{\mu\nu}(x) \end{equation} in the linearised theory, or \begin{equation} g_{\mu\nu}(x) = \bar{g}_{\mu\nu}(x) + ...
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Staying in orbit - but doesn't any perturbation start a positive feedback?

I am not a physicist; I am a software engineer. While trying to fall asleep recently, I started thinking about the following. There are many explanations online of how any object stays in orbit. The ...
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Prove that the first order perturbation theory overestimates fundamental state [closed]

This was a question on my exam and I don't know how to solve it. Use the variational principle to prove that the first order perturbation theory always overestimates the energy of the fundamental ...
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proof of radius of convergence of perturbation series in quantum electrodynamics zero

Can anyone show detailed proof of why radius of convergence of perturbation series in quantum electrodynamics is zero? And how is perturbation series constructed? So, as this argument requires ...
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Energy levels in perturbation theory

Hi guys I have a quick question about perturbation theory in quantum mechanics, particularly about energy shifts. We write: $E_n = E_n^{(0)} + \delta E_n$ where $E_n^{(0)}$ is the unperturbed ...
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Scattering Processes in Scalar Yukawa Theory

I'm trying to compute nucleon-nucleon scattering in scalar Yukawa theory. Here we view a nucleon as a complex scalar field $\psi$ and a meson as a real scalar field $\phi$. They interact through ...
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Fermi's Golden Rule and Density of States

I know Fermi's Golden Rule in the form $$\Gamma_{fi} ~=~ \sum_{f}\frac{2\pi}{\hbar}\delta (E_f - E_i)|M_{fi}|^2$$ where $\Gamma_{fi}$ is the probability transition rate, $M_{fi}$ are the transition ...
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730 views

Expectation value of time-dependent Hamiltonian

I'm trying to solve a problem in QM with a forced quantum oscillator. In this problem I have a quantum oscillator, which is in the ground state initially. At $t=0$, the force $F(t)=F_0 \sin(\Omega t)$ ...
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Naive question about time-dependent perturbation theory

In time-dependent perturbation theory where $H=H_0+V$ and $V$ is considered small and has no explicit time dependence, the standard text-book treatment of the leading order probability amplitude for ...
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Scattering states of Hydrogen atom in non-relativistic perturbation theory

In doing second order time-independent perturbation theory in non-relativistic quantum mechanics one has to calculate the overlap between states $$E^{(2)}_n ~=~ \sum_{m \neq n}\frac{|\langle m | H' ...
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Perturbation method & eigenvalues

I have a problem but I don't understand the question. It says: "Show that, to first order in energy, the eigenvalues ​​are unchanged." What does it mean? It means that if the Hamiltonian has the ...
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Geometric interpretation of perturbation theory in quantum field theory

I am studying GR right now, and one interesting thing I learned about vectors is that they are defined to have the same properties as derivatives. With this in mind, can I make a differential ...
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257 views

Symmetry and overlapping of ground states

In a quantum mechanics, there is the following formula to derive the zero energy $E_0$ of a perturbed Hamiltonian $$H = H_0 + V$$ knowing the zero energy $W_0$ of the free Hamiltonian $H_0$: $$E_0 = ...