Many quantum field theories come with non-perturbative objects such as solitons and instantons, and non-perturbative effects such as the Schwinger effect. However, it is hard to find any review on experiments that directly observed such non-perturbative physics. Is there any experiments that were conducted or to be conducted which aim to observe non-perturbative effects?

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    $\begingroup$ Look around you... the entire universe is one giant "non-perturbative effect". Perturbation theory has nothing to do with nature, it's just the poor man's math at work. $\endgroup$
    – CuriousOne
    Jun 23, 2016 at 2:59
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    $\begingroup$ @CuriousOne yeah, but thats hardly evidence to the skeptical mind. That is, one doesn't know a priori the world can't be described perturbatively, it would be nice to see non-perturbative theory at play experimentally. $\endgroup$
    – anon01
    Jun 23, 2016 at 3:25
  • $\begingroup$ @ConfusinglyCuriousTheThird: If you want to make a sport out of perturbation theory, nothing to stop you. Before you do, though, try to solve the three body problem non-perturbatively. ;-) $\endgroup$
    – CuriousOne
    Jun 23, 2016 at 3:33
  • $\begingroup$ This post (v1) seems to be a list question. $\endgroup$
    – Qmechanic
    Jun 23, 2016 at 4:06

1 Answer 1


It is easy to make solitons in water. See this video and the video coming after it with the bubbles. They are the nonlinear solutions of the differential equations governing flow.Also I recomend the one with bubbles .

Ball lightning is proposed to be a soliton solution.


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