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

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Why is the second order perturbative correction to the ground state energy always down?

What is the physical/deeper reason for the second order shift of the ground state energy in time independent perturbation theory to be always down? I know that it follows from the formula quite ...
4
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3answers
456 views

References for ADM formalism and cosmological perturbation theory [closed]

What would you consider the best online resources for learning the 3+1 ADM formalism and gauge invariant perturbation theory in cosmology? (Assuming intermediate level GR and QFT familiarity)
19
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1answer
199 views

Asymptoticity of Pertubative Expansion of QFT

It seems to be lore that the perturbative expansion of quantum field theories is generally asymptotic. I have seen two arguments. i)There is the Dyson instability argument as in QED, that is showing ...
5
votes
2answers
447 views

What does a non-perturbative theory mean?

I'm a science writer and I'm having difficulty understanding what a non-perturbative approach means. I thought I understood what perturbative meant, but in looking for explanations of ...
7
votes
1answer
501 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) ...
5
votes
1answer
169 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
449 views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
556 views

Where can a good treatment of the 'sudden' perturbation approximation be found?

Where can a good treatment of the 'sudden' perturbation approximation be found? A lot of quantum mechanics books have very brief discussions of it but I want to see it in some detail and preferably ...
18
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4answers
739 views

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 ...
5
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4answers
391 views

Perturbative Quantum Mechanics

I am, in full generality, confused about perturbation theory in quantum mechanics. My textbook and Wikipedia have the same general approach to explaining it: given some Hamiltonian $H=H^{(0)} + ...
2
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
3
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0answers
246 views

Question about the perturbative renormalization group

I'm currently learning about the renormalization group (RG) in condensed matter physics and just want to clarify a couple of things: When doing the RG transformation, there's a flow to a fixed point. ...
2
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0answers
47 views

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| ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

$\mathrm{d} \Omega_{CM}$ for a $1\rightarrow 2$ particle decay?

The differential solid angle is described in e.g. Srednicki's QFT text but only for the case of scattering. Because in the case of scattering it's defined with respect to the incoming three-momentum ...