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

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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 ...
18
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1answer
168 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
13
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4answers
921 views

Tree level QFT and classical fields/particles

It is well known that scattering cross-sections computed at tree level correspond to cross-sections in the classical theory. For example the tree level cross-section for electron-electron scaterring ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Self energy, 1PI, and tadpoles

I'm having a hard time reconciling the following discrepancy: Recall that in passing to the effective action via a Legendre transformation, we interpret the effective action $\Gamma[\phi_c]$ to be ...
11
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1answer
93 views

Limitations in using FLEX as a DMFT solver

When using the fluctuating exchange approximation (FLEX) as a dynamical mean field theory (DMFT) solver, Kotliar, et al. (p. 898) suggest that it is only reliable for when the interaction strength, ...
10
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160 views

Nuclear physics from perturbative QFT

Is there a renormalizable QFT that can produce a reasonably accurate description of nuclear physics in perturbation theory? Obviously the Standard Model cannot since QCD is strongly coupled at nuclear ...
10
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1answer
255 views

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 ...
9
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1answer
323 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: ...
8
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214 views

In what sense are loop diagrams quantum corrections?

What's so not-quantum about tree-level diagrams?
8
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1answer
562 views

Kramer's-Kronig relations for the electron Self-Energy Σ

I'm currently studying an article by Maslov, in particular the first section about higher corrections to Fermi-liquid behavior of interacting electron systems. Unfortunately, I've hit a snag when ...
8
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1answer
146 views

What is the Principle of Maximum Conformality?

I'm trying to understand this article about an advance in the theoretical understanding of QCD which centers on the Principal of Maximum Conformality. What is this Principle? In other words, what is ...
7
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2answers
494 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 ...
6
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365 views

Linearizing Gravity to ${\cal O}(h^3)$

I've seen the action of linearized gravity in many places. We basically have $${\cal L} ~\sim~ \frac{1}{G_N}\left( - \frac{1}{2}h^{\alpha\beta} \Box h_{\alpha\beta} + \frac{1}{4} h \Box h + {\cal ...
6
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2answers
500 views

Does perturbation theory break down for quantum gravity?

Perturbation theory presumes we have a valid family of models over some continuous (infinitely differentiable, in fact) range for some parameters, i.e. coupling constants. We have some special values ...
5
votes
2answers
602 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 $F(t)=F_0 \sin(\Omega t)$ ...
5
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3answers
216 views

Time Varying Potential, series solution

Suppose we have a time varying potential $$\left( -\frac{1}{2m}\nabla^2+ V(\vec{r},t)\right)\psi = i\partial_t \psi$$ then I want to know why is the general solution written as $\psi = ...
5
votes
1answer
391 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
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1answer
151 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 ...
5
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1answer
139 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 ...
5
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69 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
383 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
421 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)
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4answers
367 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)} + ...
4
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1answer
111 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
275 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
252 views

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' ...
4
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2answers
231 views

Calculating the period of a quasi-circular orbit

In solving an exercise I had to find the equation of the quasi-circular orbits of an object with the potential $V(r)=-\alpha r^{-1-\eta}$ and I expressed it as: $$r(\phi)=\frac{r_c}{1+\epsilon ...
4
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1answer
155 views

Convergence of quantum effective action to finite loop order

Consider the quantum effective action of a fixed QFT. If we compute it perturbatively to finite loop order $\ell$, we get a sum over an infinite number of Feynman diagrams. For example, the 1-loop ...
4
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1answer
287 views

center of mass Hamiltonian of a Hydrogen atom

I'm working through Mattuck's "A Guide to Feynman Diagrams in the Many-Body Problem", but I'm stuck on a bit which I feel should be trivial. In section 3.2 (p 43 in the Dover edition) he gives a ...
4
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0answers
857 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
87 views

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) ...
3
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2answers
113 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
566 views

Time-Dependent Potentials in Quantum Mechanics

A potential that depends on time is usually solved using the time dependent perturbation theory in standard undergraduate textbooks in quantum mechanics. The reason usually mentioned is that time ...
3
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227 views

Diagram-like perturbation theory in quantum mechanics

There seems to be a formalism of quantum mechanics perturbation that involve something like Feynman diagrams. The advantage is that contrary to the complicated formulas in standard texts, this ...
3
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1answer
166 views

Where does this equation for a perturbed metric come from?

I'm reading an article which includes the following equation involving a perturbed metric: $$G_{AB} = \eta_{AB} + \overset{1}{\gamma}_{AB} + 2\overset{1}{\chi}_{(A,B)}\tag{4.1}$$ I don't understand ...
3
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1answer
377 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 ...
3
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0answers
234 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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2answers
351 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
175 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
129 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
2k views

When can I use Wick's theorem?

Wick's theorem means that for fermions, a four point correlation function (for example) can be written in terms of two point correlation functions: \begin{equation} \langle b_l^\dagger b_l ...
2
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1answer
66 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 ...
2
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1answer
134 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 ...
2
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2answers
936 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 ...
2
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1answer
208 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
312 views

Can't Prove formula from Sakurai's Modern QM @ Perturbation Theory

I am studying Perturbation Theory from J.J. Sakurai's textbook Modern Quantum Mechanics. I am having trouble proving formulas on page 299 (5.2.5) and (5.2.6) from the previous ones [mainly (5.2.4)]. ...
2
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1answer
169 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 ...
2
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1answer
207 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 ...
2
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0answers
87 views

General formula to compute the redshift (first order perturbations)

Consider an expanding universe with the following metric in conformal time/co-moving coordinates: ...