In early September 1987, Feynman presented gave a talk entitled "Difficulties in Applying the Variational Principle to Quantum Field Theories" at the International Workshop on Variational Calculations in Quantum Field Theory in West Germany. The present manuscript is likely notes made while preparing for his talk. The printed proceedings of the International Workshop were dedicated to the memory of Feynman who died just 5 short months after the workshop took place.
In the calculation, Feynman considers a trial wavefunction consisting of Gaussians centered in the valleys of the given sinusoidal confining potential; he then Fourier expands this periodic waveform in term of cosine harmonics, obtaining a recursion relation connecting Fourier coefficients ak in successive rungs of the ladder. This gains him a nested, continued fraction representation for the energy e as it relates to amplitude, Vo, of the confining potential.
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