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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Finding time period of oscillations in a multiple spring system attached to a solid cylinder [closed]

A solid cylinder of mass $m$ and radius $R$ is kept in equilibrium on horizontal rough surface. Three unstretched springs of spring constant $k$, $2k$, $3k$ are attached to cylinder as shown in the ...
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75 views

Two masses on a frictionless surface connected with a spring

I have a problem with an assignment with two masses on a frictionless plane connected with a spring. Both masses are 1 kg, and the distance between them (the length of the spring) is 0.4 m. The ...
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60 views

Amplitude-Frequency curve

Given a resonance curve just like this: Could someone explain to me what the physical meaning of the intersection with the ordinate is? At first glance I would say it has to be $(0 | 0) $ since ...
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2answers
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Can a body execute two Simple Harmonic Motions instantaneously?

If we use a helical spring instead of string in a simple pendulum then will the body execute two simple harmonic motions simultaneously? Like up-down motion of spring and to and fro motion of simple ...
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121 views

Derive Equation For a Cantilever in SHM

I am currently investigating how a hacksaw blade's time period of oscillation changes when I add mass to the end of it or when I change the length it is clamped at. I found the following equation ...
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1answer
52 views

Average Energy of a coherent state

The question is relating to a previous problem concerning the harmonic oscillator. Determine the average energy < E > in a coherent state |alpha>. From my understanding the expectation of the ...
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218 views

Please explain the following graphs that describe a quantum mechanical harmonic oscillator

Graphs such as the above keep coming up when talking about harmonic oscillators in a quantum mechanical sense. However, I simply cannot make sense of them. What does each line represent why are they ...
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2answers
53 views

Forces acting on an SHM

I would like to know the forces acting on an SHM, and how they effect the motion. For example, take the motion of a simple pendulum as in the given image. Which are the forces acting on this motion? ...
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2answers
112 views

How to determinate the minimum period of oscillation for a physical pendulum? [closed]

A physical pendulum consists of a thin homogeneous rod of length $l$, suspended by a point $O$ at a distance $x$ from the center of gravity ($x<\frac{l}{2}$), oscillating in a vertical plane. ...
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61 views

What is the relationship between harmonic motion and the harmonics of a wave?

I learned about harmonic motion and harmonic oscillators a long time ago in physics, but I can't remember what the relationship between that and and the definition of harmonic in a wave. A harmonic ...
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59 views

Computing $\langle0|T[Q(t_2)Q(t_1)]|0\rangle$

Given Hamiltonian $H=\frac{P^2}{2}+\frac{\omega^2}{2}Q^2$, compute $\langle0|T[Q(t_2)Q(t_1)]|0\rangle$, where $T$ is the time-ordering of the product, $|0\rangle$ is the ground state. Now set ...
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1answer
27 views

Is there a curve for which a particle restricted to move within it under the gravitational force will always exhibit a pure harmonic motion?

A simple pendulum, for example, is not isochronous for large amplitudes (that is, the frequency will depend on the amplitude). So a particle confined in a circumference will not always exhibit a ...
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66 views

A problem about harmonic oscillators

A ball with mass $m$ and radius $r$ rolls without sliding inside a cylinder with radius $R (R>>r)$, with $\theta <<1$. Find the angular frequency $\omega$ What I Know: There are ...
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403 views

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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4answers
232 views

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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85 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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93 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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1answer
66 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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42 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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69 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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1answer
132 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
111 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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90 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
102 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
40 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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81 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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148 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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127 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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117 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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111 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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81 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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138 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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151 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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148 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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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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0answers
51 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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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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177 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
37 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
91 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
728 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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5answers
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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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1answer
184 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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0answers
88 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
95 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
743 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
62 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
104 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 = ...