The term "harmonic oscillator" is used to describe any system with a "linear" restoring force that tends to return the system to a equilibrium state. There is both a classical harmonic oscillator and a quantum harmonic oscillator. Both are used to as toy problems that describe many physical systems.

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Reflected and refracted light have same frequency as that of the incident light frequency. Why?

My text book says- When a monochromatic light is incident on a surface separating two media, the refracted and reflected light both have the same frequency as the incident frequency. Can anyone ...
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Help understanding what the Hamiltonian signifies for the action compared with the Euler-Lagrange equations for the Lagrangian?

Consider the Lagrangian for a simple harmonic oscillator \begin{equation} L (x,\dot{x}) = \frac{1}{2}m\dot{x}^2 - \frac{1}{2}kx^2 \end{equation} Obviously we have \begin{align} \frac{\partial ...
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17 views

Uncertainty of energy for harmonic oscillator at ground state and first excited state

How does one calculate the energy uncertainty of the harmonic oscillator in the ground state and first excited state?
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25 views

Change in effective gravity due to a B-field

I have a bar magnet being suspended in a B-field at an angle $\frac{\pi}{2}$ (45 degrees). If I change the frame of reference such that the bar magnet is at 0 degrees I intuitively know that the new ...
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51 views

How to analyse this mass-spring system

I'm trying to analyze this mass-spring system -- i.e. write down the differential equation governing it. As you can see, there is a block of mass $m_1$ attached to a wall by an ideal spring of ...
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46 views

How is a string different from a harmonic oscillator or a point?

I am reading String Theory and M-Theory: A Modern Introduction by Becker, Becker and Schwartz. I've tried to read this book before but not succeeded because I didn't know enough math or physics. This ...
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1answer
25 views

Does this massless spring affect the system?

I have to write out the differential equation modelling this system: There's a mass connected to a wall with a spring of spring constant $k_1$, sitting on a frictionless surface, with another spring ...
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2answers
47 views

Energy drain in damped oscillator

Suppose we have a mass on a spring with a damping term. The equation of motion is given by: $$m \ddot{x} = -kx - c\dot{x}$$ I believe solutions are damped oscillations of the form: $$x = x_0 ...
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34 views

What is the difference between 'harmonic motion' and 'simple harmonic motion'? [duplicate]

I want to grasp the above content as soon as possible. I am currently a Physics undergrad. Please help me.
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14 views

The universality of the Stuart-Landau equation to describe nonlinear oscillators

I have read numerous papers which boldly suggest that the Stuart-Landau equation can be successfully used to model any weakly nonlinear oscillating system near a Hopf bifurcation. Even thought it has ...
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3answers
58 views

Can vertical SHM occur in a system of a mass between 2 springs between 2 vertical pillars? [closed]

The problem is detailed above. I have worked through problems involving SHM in the horizontal plane, but unsure how to go about it vertically. I know the weight component would need to be ...
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1answer
60 views

A pendulum in an elevator - looking upside down

If I have a pendulum connected to the floor of an elevator by a string, and the elevator is falling in an acceleration greater than g - can I just "rotate" the system and look at it as a regular ...
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1answer
66 views

Harmonic oscillator problem - Griffiths [closed]

I'm solving problems about harmonic oscillator from Griffiths book (2nd ed.) and I'm stuck in the problem 2.13. When I normalize the equation 2.51 to get $A_1$ my final wave function is complex, since ...
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1answer
27 views

Why in analysis of coupled oscillator, restoring force for uncoupled condition is taken in account?

If the pendulums were free & either one were displaced a small distance $x$, the restoring force would be $m{\omega_0}^2 x$. But in the present situation the coupling spring is stretched a ...
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2answers
63 views

How to calculate the classical on-shell action for a harmonic oscillator? [closed]

So, short and sweet, I've been reading the path integrals book by Feynman and Hibbs, and one of the elementary problems they ask is to calculate the classical on-shell$^1$ action of a harmonic ...
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1answer
90 views

Checking that the propagator for Harmonic Oscillator satisfies Schroedinger Equation [closed]

I have the propagator for the harmonic oscillator. $$K(x_f,x_0,t)=\sqrt{\frac{m\omega}{2 \pi \hbar \sin{wt}}}\exp\left(\frac{i}{\hbar}\frac{m\omega}{2 \sin{\omega t}}((x_0^2+x_f^2)\cos\omega ...
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2answers
58 views

Why does the Bohr-Sommerfeld quantization for give the exact energy-levels for a harmonic oscillator?

Why does the Bohr-Sommerfeld rule for quantization give the exact energy-levels for a simple harmonic oscillator?
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89 views

Oscillations Near Equilibrium (With Linear Differential Equations)

Case I: The force acting on an object of mass m is $F(x) = F_o(1-e^{\alpha x})$ Case II: The force acting on an object of mass m is $F(x) = F_o(1-e^{-\alpha x})$ where $F_o$ and $\alpha$ are ...
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3answers
68 views

Classical Limit of the Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

The classical harmonic oscillator obeys an arcsine law in that the distribution of positions of the particle over a single time cycle is proportional to $\frac{1}{\sqrt{A^2-x^2}}$, $A$ being the ...
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39 views

Simple harmonic motion and elasticity

Question: One end of a long metallic wire of length L is tied to the ceiling. The other end is tied to a massless spring of spring constant K. A mass m hangs freely from the free end of the ...
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2answers
77 views

An interesting problem on springs [closed]

If I place two identical objects of mass $m$ at either end of a spring with spring constant $k$ and the whole system is placed on a horizontal frictionless surface, then what is the frequency of ...
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1answer
49 views

Very confused about effective spring constant

I know that for springs in parallel, the effective spring constant is $k_1+k_2$ and for springs in series the constant is $1/(1/k_1+1/k_2)$. But there are some weird problems where finding the ...
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1answer
73 views

Transition Probabilities for the Perturbed Harmonic Oscillator

I consider the following Hamiltonian $$H=\frac{p^2}{2m}+\frac{m\omega^2}{2}x^2+\Theta(t)Fx,$$ where $F$ is an external constant force. So the Hamiltonian describes an unperturbed harmonic oscillator ...
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3answers
153 views

limit as $x_1 \to x_0$, propagator for the harmonic oscillator

Consider a non-relativistic particle of mass $m$, moving along the $x$-axis in a potential $V(x) = m\omega^2x^2/2$. use path-integral methods to find the probability to find the particle between ...
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17 views

Parametric impulse on driven, damped oscillator

I've been thinking about driven harmonic oscillators recently. I know how to calculate their response to a sinusoidal drive, and their response to an impulse or more generally an arbitrary drive via ...
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46 views

If $| \alpha(t) \rangle = e^{-i\omega t} |\alpha_0 \rangle$, then why is there time dependence in expected values?

The time evolution of a coherent state $| \alpha(t) \rangle$ is given by: $$| \alpha(t) \rangle = e^{-i\omega t} |\alpha_0 \rangle$$ So then it seems to me that it should be $$\langle \alpha(t)| = ...
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30 views

Hamiltonian of a linear chain of atoms and canonical quantization

When we want to re-formalize the Hamiltonian of a linear chain of atoms which has the following form: , we define the ladder operators as: and we use the following relations: to show that we ...
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1answer
142 views

Problem regarding Archimedes Principle [closed]

A small amount of mercury is filled into massless cylindrical test tube with an even bottom and length $l=0,200m$. The test tube is put into a large swimming pool filled with water. a) How ...
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1answer
29 views

Period of oscillation with time independent factor

How can you determine the period of oscillation from a mass that is suspended from the ceiling? The equation becomes: ${{d^2x}\over dt^2}+kx-mg=0$. I am confused by the constant $mg$, because in the ...
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1answer
43 views

Difference between harmonic oscillator & coupled oscillators

Coupling, according to wiki, is the condition of two systems when they interact with each other. Now, I came across the terms harmonic oscillator and coupled oscillators. Now,what is the difference ...
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2answers
508 views

What will be the equation of motion of driven pendulum for amplitudes beyond the small angle approximation?

When finding the period of a pendulum beyond the small angle approximation, we have to use integration for small interval of $\theta$ and elliptical integration. I was trying to apply this situation ...
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Why is the harmonic oscillator so important?

I've been wondering what makes the harmonic oscillator such an important model. What I came up with: It is a (relatively) simple system, making it a perfect example for physics students to learn ...
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65 views

Spring Stiffness Calculation Problems

This may sound like a trivial question but please hear me out. I am trying to model a 1 DoF electromagnetic vibration sensor (geophone) analytically and with finite elements. A geophone consists of ...
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38 views

Harmonic oscillator coherent state expected values

I'm looking to calculate the expected values of a coherent state (of a harmonic oscillator) evolving in time. I know that the $x$ and $p$ expectation values are as in classical motion, but I'm ...
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1answer
43 views

How to determine angular frequency of this system?

I am self studying on harmonic motion and springs. One of the problems is: Two identical objects of mass m are placed at either end of a spring of spring constant k and the whole system is placed on a ...
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1answer
130 views

Does damping force affect period of oscillation?

In my physics notes, it has been given that the damping force increases the period of oscillation. I am unable to understand this part. How is this possible? The only relation I know is that as the ...
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Will a damped harmonic oscillator, with no initial amplitude, oscillate if there was background “noise”?

Suppose I have a damped harmonic oscillator which is at rest, sitting comfortably with no initial amplitude, obeying the equation $$\ddot{x} + \frac{1}{Q}\dot{x} + x = 0$$ where x is the vertical ...
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1answer
58 views

What's the closed-form of the sum relating to the DOS of simple harmonic motion?

In order to calculate the density of states of single particle in the simple harmonic potential, we would calculate that $$ D(\epsilon)=\sum_{n}\delta(\epsilon-\epsilon_n) $$ where ...
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1answer
76 views

Why does $k/m=\omega^2$ for harmonic motion? [closed]

Can anyone please give me a proof for $k/m=w^2$ in simple harmonic motion? I have tried energy conservation and Newton's laws as follows : In the case of a mass-spring system, $$F=ma =-kx\\ F=ma = ...
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47 views

For a bob on a pendulum following simple harmonic motion, what causes the bob to accelerate towards the centre of equilibrium?

*The position of equilibrium being the position of the bob when the string is taut and vertically downwards. When I draw a simple diagram, I see that the tension of the string, which always acts ...
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1answer
35 views

Watertank waves

Say we have a rectangular tank of water and we push it lengthwise. Suppose the surface stays planar. What would be the trajectory of the centre of mass?
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1answer
82 views

Is it possible to write explicitly the exact solution for forced damped harmonic oscillator?

Preamble Consider a damped harmonic oscillator, with his well know differential equation \begin{equation*} m \ddot{x} + c \dot{x} + kx=0 \end{equation*} and let's find the solution that satisfies ...
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Number operator in quantum field theory?

The number operator, counting the number of quanta is defined as follows: $$ N = \int \frac{d^3 p}{(2\pi)^3} \hphantom{ii} a^{\dagger}_pa_p$$ with the momentum eigenstates being defined as $\lvert ...
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1answer
99 views

Quantum simple harmonic oscillator interpretation

I am just wondering what does the SHO system from quantum mechanics actually physically represent? Is it just a SHO of a quantum particle, seems a little too obvious for quantum theory? I'm from a ...
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2answers
63 views

Coupled oscillators and Normal Modes

Consider we have a system consisting of 2 arbitrary masses and 3 arbitrary springs connecting them horizontally and between fixed walls, and we want to obtain the motion of each mass after we input ...
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68 views

Cubic perturbation to coupled quantum harmonic oscillators

I recently came across this two-dimensional problem of a particle in a potential of the form $$V = \displaystyle{\frac{1}{2}m \omega^2} \big(y^2 + x^2y \big) - \alpha y,$$ where $x$ and $y$ are known ...
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12 views

Simple pendulum time period [duplicate]

The time period of a simple pendulum of infinite length is? Radius of earth: R gravitational acceleration : g
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1answer
67 views

How can I prove this inequality for a harmonic oscillator?

I need a hand with this problem. I have to prove that for a particle in any quantum state in an harmonic potential $$ \langle X\rangle \leq2\Delta E\Delta P/(m \omega^2 \hslash) $$ Here's my ...
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23 views

Period of swinging incomplete hula-hoop

I was working on a problem where I had to calculate the period of a swinging incomplete hula-hoop given its center of mass and radius. It only swings with very small amplitude so I considered the ...
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2answers
62 views

How to check if a system is in SHM in two spring systems?

I must determine if the system (a) is in SHM. I must arrive to the conclusion that there is a linear restoring force such that $a=-w^2x$. The solution's manual affirms that according to Newton's ...