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LSMOG

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Why do we need perturbation theory in quantum mechanics?

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- Thread starter LSMOG
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In summary, perturbation theory is a powerful tool used in scientific research to approximate solutions to complex problems that cannot be solved exactly. It works by breaking down a complex problem into a simpler one and using known solutions to approximate the solution to the original problem. However, it has limitations and may not be applicable to all systems. Perturbation theory has applications in various fields such as physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering, and can be seen in real-world examples like the three-body problem and the calculation of energy levels in atoms.

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LSMOG

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Why do we need perturbation theory in quantum mechanics?

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Simon Bridge

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Because solving the schrodinger equation for the complete system in one go is too hard.

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A. Neumaier

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Perturbation theory is important in scientific research because it allows us to approximate solutions to complex problems that cannot be solved exactly. This is especially useful in fields such as quantum mechanics, where exact solutions are often impossible to obtain. Perturbation theory provides a powerful tool for understanding and predicting the behavior of complex systems.

Perturbation theory works by breaking down a complex problem into a simpler one, where a known solution can be used as a starting point. The solution to the simpler problem is then used to approximate the solution to the original problem. This process is repeated, with each iteration providing a more accurate approximation of the true solution.

One of the main limitations of perturbation theory is that it relies on small perturbations or disturbances from a known solution. If the perturbations are too large, the approximations may become inaccurate. Additionally, perturbation theory may not be applicable to all systems, and may not provide exact solutions in some cases.

Perturbation theory has applications in a wide range of scientific fields, including physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering. In physics, it is used to study systems such as the motion of planets and the behavior of particles in quantum mechanics. In chemistry, it is used to analyze molecular structures and chemical reactions. In biology, it is used to model complex biological systems. In engineering, it is used to optimize designs and predict the behavior of complex systems.

One of the most well-known examples of perturbation theory is the three-body problem in celestial mechanics, where perturbation theory is used to approximate the motion of three interacting bodies, such as planets orbiting a star. Another example is the calculation of the energy levels of atoms in quantum mechanics, where perturbation theory is used to account for the effects of external electric and magnetic fields. In chemistry, perturbation theory is used to predict the properties of molecules and to understand chemical reactions.

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