A nonperturbative study of three-dimensional quartic scalar field theory using modal field methods
The method of modal field theory is a new development in the field of nonperturbative quantum field theory. This approach reduces a quantum field theory to a finite-dimensional quantum mechanical system by expanding field configurations in terms of free-wave modes. In this dissertation we apply this method to three-dimensional &phis;4 theory using two kinds of modal field approaches: a spherical partial wave expansion and a periodic-box mode expansion. The resulting modal-field quantum-mechanical systems are analyzed with the use of the diffusion Monte Carlo method and by calculating the spectrum and eigenstates of the Hamiltonian directly. In the latter approach we employ the recently introduced quasi-sparse eigenvector method which is designed to diagonalize infinite-dimensional yet very sparse matrices. We study the phase structure of three-dimensional &phis;4 theory, computing the critical coupling and the critical exponents ν and β. We also investigate the spectrum of low-lying energy eigenstates and find evidence of a nonperturbative state in the broken-symmetry phase of the theory.