Non-perturbative flow equations from continuous unitary transformations

Kriel, Johannes Nicolaas (2005-12)

Thesis (MSc (Physics))--University of Stellenbosch, 2005.


The goal of this thesis is the development and implementation of a non-perturbative solution method for Wegner’s flow equations. We show that a parameterization of the flowing Hamiltonian in terms of a scalar function allows the flow equation to be rewritten as a nonlinear partial differential equation. The implementation is non-perturbative in that the derivation of the PDE is based on an expansion controlled by the size of the system rather than the coupling constant. We apply this method to the Lipkin model and obtain very accurate results for the spectrum, expectation values and eigenstates for all values of the coupling and in the thermodynamic limit. New aspects of the phase structure, made apparent by this non-perturbative treatment, are also investigated. The Dicke model is treated using a two-step diagonalization procedure which illustrates how an effective Hamiltonian may be constructed and subsequently solved within this framework.

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