High-Order Perturbation Theory and its Application to Atoms in Strong Fields
Schrödinger invented quantum mechanical perturbation theory in the third1 of his four seminal papers of 1926 to explain the LoSurdo2-Stark3 effect—hydrogen in an external electric field. Following an idea of Lord Rayleigh for treating vibrations, Schrödinger’s expectation was that a few terms in the power series expansion in the external field strength would be sufficient to match the experimental results. Higher-order terms could be obtained recursively from lower-order terms. This initial application of Rayleigh-Schrödinger perturbation theory (RSPT) was so straightforward and successful that it served as a paradigm for what has become a standard tool applied to countless problems in quantum physics.
KeywordsIonization Rate Perturbation Series Anharmonic Oscillator Zeeman Effect Stokes Line
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