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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Inertia and simple harmonic motion

A meter stick is suspended from a frictionless rod inserted through a small hole at the 39-cm mark. Find the period of its small-amplitude oscillations around its equilibrium position. I know the ...
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Under what circumstances will a particle in a paraboloid oscillate harmonically around the lowest point? [on hold]

A particle of mass $m$ is moving in the gravitational field $g$. It is confined to move frictionlessly on the surface of the paraboloid $z(r,\phi):=a\cdot r^2$. Here, $a>0$ is a constant. The ...
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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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An interesting problem on springs [on hold]

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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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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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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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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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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QM question on the simple harmonic oscillator [closed]

After choosing units in which everything, including $\hbar = 1$, the Hamiltonian of a harmonic oscillator may be written $\hat{H}=\frac{1}{2}(\hat{p}^2+\hat{x}^2)$, where$[\hat{x},\hat{p}]=i$. Show ...
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Simple harmonic motion - finding time period [closed]

Question: A magnetic dipole is placed in a uniform, horizontal, external magnetic field. If it is rotationally displaced from its position of equilibrium by an angle $\theta$, show that the rod ...
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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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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
110 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
26 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
31 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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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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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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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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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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59 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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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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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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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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34 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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How do I incorporate friction and mass when analyzing spring motion?

Problem 12 of section B of this PDF file reads Two springs with spring constant k1 and k2 are attached to a body of mass (m) in two different configurations in 2 cases (A and B) as shown. ...
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$N$ classical Harmonic Oscillators in microcanonical ensemble in three dimensions

Is my expression for the Hamiltonian for $N$ classical harmonic oscillators correct in three dimension as I am trying to solve it in microcanonical ensemble ...
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What are the forces acting on a Pendulum Tuned Mass Damper?

Upon researching tuned mass dampers, I came across this free body diagram of a pendulum tuned mass damper. However, I don't understand where many of the forces come from. What exactly are the forces ...
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Deriving the particular solution for a damped driven harmonic oscillator [closed]

Consider a damped driven harmonic oscillator, for which $\beta = \omega_0/4$ and the driving force is given by $F = F_0\cos\omega t$ ($\omega_0$ and $F_0$ represent initial condition of those ...
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102 views

Proving $[a_k^\dagger, a_q^\dagger]=0$

I am trying to prove the commutation relations between the creation and annihilation operators in field theory. I was already able to show that $[a_k, a_q^\dagger]=i\delta(k-q)$. I want to show that ...
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Quantum harmonic oscillator doughnut shape

When phase-space trajectory is plotted for classical harmonic oscillator for p(t)=mx0ωcos(ωt +δ0), a circle is obtained. When done same for the quantum harmonic oscillator, why do we get a doughnut ...
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1answer
59 views

Energy in harmonic oscillator [closed]

The expectation value of the potential energy is exactly half the total according to Griffiths. Is that case always true for quantum harmonic oscillator? Is that the case also for classical harmonic ...
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2answers
49 views

Pendulum in Accelerating Elevator

I have been looking for this for quite some time now. A simple pendulum behaves in SHM. Let's put that pendulum in an upward accelerating elevator. The component of the force that acts in SHM ...
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Classical action of the simple harmonic oscillator

I have been calculating the classical action of the harmonic oscillator, the problem I have is that I am only able to solve it if I set the integration limits of the action integral to be $t=T$ and ...
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175 views

Definition of the quality $(Q)$ factor?

According to Wikipedia, the Q factor is defined as: $$Q=2\pi\frac{\mathrm{energy \, \, stored}}{\mathrm{energy \, \,dissipated \, \, per \, \, cycle}}$$ Here are my questions: Does the energy ...
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Question about massive spring and SHM [closed]

A mass $M$ is resting on the end of a spring with constant $K$. The mass of the spring is $m$, and the displacement of each element of the spring is proportional to the distance from the fixed end ...
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3answers
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Pressure in Harmonic Oscillation

Classical Harmonic oscillator's energy depends on temperature as it equals $k_B$$T/2$. However, quantum harmonic oscillator energy is $(n+1/2)hf$. So, when T=0, quantum predicts motion. I have been ...
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Question about derivation of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?

I am looking at the derivation presented here. The first thing I am unsure about is where the form of $\psi_0=Ae^{\frac{-m\omega x^2}{2\hbar}}$ came from. Also, is this form for all $\psi$, or just ...
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Is uniform circular motion an SHM?

I know the projection along a diameter is an SHM but is circular motion itself an SHM? If we consider the mean position to be the center of the circle then the centripetal acceleration is proportional ...
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Can the matrix element of the momentum operator be found in the momentum basis?

In Shankar's Quantum Mechanics example 7.3.4, the problem is to find $\langle n'\rvert P\lvert n\rangle$ for the harmonic oscillator. The answer contains imaginary parts; you can derive such an answer ...