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

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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 ...
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423 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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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347 views

LSZ reduction vs adiabatic hypothesis in perburbative calculation of interacting fields

As far as I know, there are two ways of constructing the computational rules in perturbative field theory. The first one (in Mandl and Shaw's QFT book) is to pretend in and out states as free ...
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Perturbation theory with degeneracy even after 1st order

Most textbooks on basic quantum mechanics tell you that when your initial Hamiltonian $H_0$ has degenerate states, then before you can do (time independent) perturbation theory with a perturbation ...
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624 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 ...
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665 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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Can Feynman diagrams be used to represent any perturbation theory?

In Quantum Field Theory and Particle Physics we use Feynman diagrams. But e.g. in Schwartz's textbook and here it is shown that it applies to more general cases like general perturbation theory for ...
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201 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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454 views

In what sense are loop diagrams quantum corrections?

What's so not-quantum about tree-level diagrams?
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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 ...
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Kramers-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 ...
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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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384 views

Capturing (perturbatively) non-equilibrium field theory effects using “elementary” methods

I am considering a system of two interacting scalar fields: $\psi$, and $\phi$. The Lagrangian is given by: \begin{equation} ...
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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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425 views

Renormalization group resummation

I'm having trouble in understeanding a mathematical feature of RG, namely how it provides a way to resum the perturbation series and how that's defined mathematically. From a conceptual point of view ...
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334 views

Is WKB really applicable for the ground state?

It seems that WKB is applicable for a given $E$ if and only if $\hbar$ is sufficiently small. Or in other words, WKB is applicable if and only if the quantum number is large enough. Is this ...
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186 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 ...
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604 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' ...
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Why do we still use perturbation theory, when we have advanced numerical methods and fast computers?

If my question sounds ignorant or even insulting, I apologise. I may be completely wrong, since I'm not a theoretical physicist. So, I understand why perturbation theory was originally used in ...
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How to decide whether one can use perturbation theory in QM?

In QM, it is said that perturbation theory can be used in the case in which the total Hamiltonian is a sum of two parts, one whose exact solution is known and an extra term that contains a small ...
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Perturbation theory for a particle in a weak potential

I have a basic question about quantum mechanics, maybe it has a basic answer. Take a free particle in a quartic potential, $L=\frac{1}{2}\dot{x}^2-\lambda x^4$ This is massless $\phi^4$ theory in ...
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Post-Minkowskian expansion of some quantities in Post-Newtonian theory

I'm studying Post-Newtonian theory on the book "Gravity" by Poisson and Will and I found a few formulas that I can't obtain by myself. I'm pretty sure it must be quite simple, but can't find the right ...
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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 ...
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Do gravitational waves cause time dilatation?

The effect of gravitational waves in transverse traceless gauge on matter is represented by the expansion and contraction of a ring of test particles in the direction of polarization of the wave. ...
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How to properly use Perturbation Theory in classical systems?

Context: If we consider a particle in upwards motion near the Earth's surface and acted by a quadratic drag we get the non-linear eom: $$\frac{dv}{dt}=-g-\frac{b}{m}v^2.$$ We can solve it ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Does the LSZ reduction method prove gauge-independence in massless gauge theories?

I've been working my way through L. Baulieu's excellent paper [Perturbative gauge theories, Physics Reports, Volume 129, Issue 1, December 1985, Pages 1-74]. Towards the end, he goes on to prove that ...
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267 views

Ambiguity in Asymptotic Perturbative Series and Instantons

I know there are a number of questions about the asymptoticity of perturbative series and about instantons on StackExchange (e.g. Instantons and Non Perturbative Amplitudes in Gravity from user566, ...
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303 views

Degenerate perturbation theory applied to topological degeneracy?

Consider a quantum system described by a gapped Hamiltonian $H_0$ with degenerate ground states (GS), adding a perturbation term $V$ to $H_0$, then the low-energy physics can be described by an ...
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What makes laminar cascade break?

Near my house there is a mall that have a cascade, which has a pratically constant flow, and doesn't seem to have perturbations (at least near the edge where water falls), between its two levels. ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
5
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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)} + ...
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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 = ...
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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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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 ...
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Why are the zeroth order terms in degenerate perturbation theory the eigenstates of the perturbing Hamiltonian?

I have for quite some time now tried to find a satisfactory answer to this, but I haven't yet. In perturbation theory, with small parameter $\lambda$, we expand the eigenstate as $$| E \rangle=| ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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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Is string theory over a time varying background a conformal field theory to all orders in perturbation theory?

When computing the first order perturbative corrections to string theory over a curved background, we find the background has to be Ricci-flat if the dilaton is constant and we have no fluxes. Such is ...
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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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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 ...