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From Random Walks to Random Matrices$
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Jean Zinn-Justin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198787754

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198787754.001.0001

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Hyper-asymptotic expansions and instantons

Hyper-asymptotic expansions and instantons

(p.471) 24 Hyper-asymptotic expansions and instantons
From Random Walks to Random Matrices

Jean Zinn-Justin

Oxford University Press

Chapter 24 examines the topic of hyper–asymptotic expansions and instantons. A number of quantum mechanics and quantum field theory (QFT) examples exhibit degenerate classical minima connected by quantum barrier penetration effects. The analysis of the large order behaviour, based on instanton calculus, shows that the perturbative expansion is not Borel summable, and does not define unique functions. An important issue is then what kind of additional information is required to determine the exact expanded functions. While the QFT examples are complicated, and their study is still at the preliminary stage, in quantum mechanics, in the case of some analytic potentials that have degenerate minima (like the quartic double–well potential), the problem has been completely solved. Some examples are described in Chapter 24. There, the perturbative, complete, hyper–asymptotic expansion exhibits the resurgence property. The perturbative expansion can be related to the calculation of the spectral equation via the complex WKB method.

Keywords:   barrier penetration, Borel summable, complex WKB method, degenerate minimum, hyper–asymptotic expansion, instanton calculus, large order behaviour, resurgence, spectral equation

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