Perturbed conformal field theory, nonlinear integral equations and spectral problems
This thesis is concerned with various aspects of perturbed conformal field theory and the methods used to calculate finite-size effects of integrable quantum field theories. Nonlinear integral equations are the main tools to find the exact ground-state energy of a quantum field theory. The thermodyamic Bethe ansatz (TBA) equations are a set of examples and are known for a large number of models. However, it is also an interesting question to find exact equations describing the excited states of integrable models. The first part of this thesis uses analytical continuation in a continuous parameter to find TBA like equations describing the spin-zero excited states of the sine-Gordon model at coupling β(^2) = 16π/3. Comparisons are then made with a further type of nonlinear integral equation which also predicts the excited state energies. Relations between the two types of equation are studied using a set of functional relations recently introduced in integrable quantum field theory. A relevant perturbation of a conformal field theory results in either a massive quantum field theory such as the sine-Gordon model, or a different massless conformal field theory. The second part of this thesis investigates flows between conformal field theories using a nonlinear integral equation. New families of flows are found which exhibit a rather unexpected behaviour. The final part of this thesis begins with a review of a connection between integrable quantum field theory and properties of certain ordinary differential equations of second- and third-order. The connection is based on functional relations which appear on both sides of the correspondence; for the second-order case these are exactly the functional relations mentioned above. The results are extended to include a correspondence between n(^th) order differential equations and Bethe ansatz system of SU(n) type. A set of nonlinear integral equations are derived to check the results.