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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

3
votes
1answer
2k views

3D Quantum harmonic oscillator

For an isotropic 3D QHO in a potential $V(x,y,z)={1\over 2}m\omega^2(x^2+y^2+z^2)$. I can see by independence of the potential in the $x,y,z$ coordinates that the solution to the Schrodinger equation ...
3
votes
2answers
578 views

Zero point fluctuation of an harmonic oscillator

In a paper, I ran into the following definition of the zero point fluctuation of our favorite toy, the harmonic oscillator: $$x_{ZPF} = \sqrt{\frac{\hbar}{2m\Omega}} $$ where m is its mass and ...
3
votes
1answer
459 views

Plotting a SHO in matlab [closed]

I have no prior experience of using matlab. My teacher want me to solve this question. I have been trying for a couple of hours now with no luck, please help! The mass of 100 g hanging in a spring ...
3
votes
3answers
169 views

What is the significance of clamping the center of the spring?

7. A block is hung on a spring, and the frequency $f$ of the oscillation of the system is measured. The block, a second identical block, and the spring are carried in the Space Shuttle to space. ...
3
votes
1answer
141 views

Why is $\omega = \sqrt{K/m}$ valid for a quantum oscillator?

I'm working in the 3rd edition of Modern Physics by Serway, Moses, and Moyer. In 6.6, it talks about a quantum oscillator. I don't fully understand how the definition of frequency works. Now, we ...
3
votes
2answers
122 views

Showing $K_\pm$ are raising/lowering operators

In this post, I have the following operators defined: $$K_1=\frac 14(p^2-q^2)$$ $$K_2=\frac 14 (pq+qp)$$ $$J_3 = \frac 14 (p^2+q^2)$$ I am given $ J_3|m\rangle = m|m\rangle$ and asked to show that ...
3
votes
2answers
252 views

Probability of position in linear shm?

The problem that got me thinking goes like this:- Find $dp/dx$ where $p$ is the probability of finding a body at a random instant of time undergoing linear shm according to $x=a\sin(\omega t)$. ...
3
votes
1answer
220 views

Harmonic Oscillator potential, proof that Gaussians remain Gaussians?

I read in several papers that for a Harmonic Oscillator Hamiltonian in the time dependent Schrödinger equation a Gaussian wave packet remains Gaussian. Unfortunately I could not find any proof for ...
3
votes
2answers
236 views

Velocity and acceleration in SHM

Can velocity and acceleration reach maximal values during the SHM simultaneously? Can you explain why?
3
votes
1answer
491 views

Eigenfrequencies of Normal Modes

I understand the whole deal with coupled oscillators and how to solve for normal modes and eigenfrequencies and such. But what is tripping me up is what these eigenfrequencies correspond to. If I ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Eigenstates of half Harmonic Oscillator

This might be a stupid question so pardon me! If I am looking for energy eigenstates to the 1D quantum problem such that there is an infinite barrier at $x<0$ and for $x>0$ the potential is ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Pendulum in an elevator

Suppose we have a pendulum tied to the ceiling of an elevator which is at rest. The pendulum is oscillating with a time period $T$, and it has an angular amplitude, say $\beta$. Now at some time ...
3
votes
1answer
545 views

Schrödinger equation for a harmonic oscillator

I have came across this equation for quantum harmonic oscillator $$ W \psi = - \frac{\hbar^2}{2m}\frac{d^2\psi}{dx^2} + \frac{1}{2} m \omega^2 x^2 \psi $$ which is often remodelled by defining a new ...
3
votes
1answer
295 views

How do eigenstates of harmonic oscillators with different frequencies compare?

Suppose I have a harmonic oscillator with frequency $\Omega_1$ and another one with frequency $\Omega_2$. Is there a simple relationship between the eigenstates of the two? Especially, how would the ...
3
votes
1answer
243 views

Question on Sakurai's treatment of the Harmonic Oscillator:

In Section 2.3 of the second edition of Modern Quantum Mechanics (which discusses the harmonic oscillator), Sakurai derives the relation $$Na\left|n\right> = (n-1)a\left|n\right>,$$ and states ...
3
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
140 views

Trace as integral

Consider a system of two entangled harmonic oscillators. The normalised ground state is denoted by $\psi_0(x_1,x_2)$. I've been taught that a density matrix is constructed as $\rho = ...
3
votes
2answers
113 views

How to model “Doppler Distortion” of speakers?

Simple Model w/o Doppler I have a speaker driven by an electrical signal. The pressure at the sampling point is some linear operator acting on the input signal: $L[ s(t)]$. Where $L$ combines the ...
3
votes
2answers
355 views

Frequency of kinetic energy in shm

I am currently learning about simple harmonic motion. In a book I am reading it says frequency of kinetic energy is twice the frequency of velocity for a harmonic oscillator by showing velocity vs ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Equations of motion for a spherical pendulum in a non-inertial reference frame

Take a spherical pendulum with bob mass $m$, rod length $\ell$ and physical coordinates $\theta$, $\phi$ (spherical angles) and $h$ (the hinge height with respect to the coordinate origin). The rod is ...
3
votes
2answers
176 views

Quantum Mechanics Basics: product space

Consider a coupled harmonic oscillator with their position given by $x_1$ and $x_2$. Say the normal coordinates $x_{\pm}={1\over\sqrt{2}} (x_1\pm x_2)$, in which the harmonic oscillators decouple, ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

From the local Hooke's law to the global one

My system consist of a cylinder with axis Z that can contract and dilate along this axis. It obeys microscopically Hooke's law of elasticity: ...
3
votes
2answers
539 views

Dynamics of a Vertical Mass-Spring Simple Harmonic Oscillator with Gravity

I am having some trouble obtaining the elastic potential energy and gravitational potential energy of a simple mass spring system. In this experiment, masses attached to a spring were dropped from a ...
3
votes
4answers
18k views

How to calculate viscous damping coefficient?

The damping of a spring is calculated with: $$[\zeta] = \frac{[c]}{\sqrt{[m][k]}}$$ Where c is the 'viscous damping coefficient' of the spring, according to Wikipedia. m is the mass, k is the spring ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

Quantum field theory: field operators in terms of creation/annihilation operators

I am learning Quantum Field Theory and there is a step in my notes that I do not really understand. It starts with the classical definitions of position $q$ and momentum $p$: $$ q = ...
3
votes
1answer
295 views

Simulating quantum network of harmonic oscillators

Let's say that I have a system of $n$ particles $p_1,\ldots,p_n\in\mathbb{R}^3$ (where $n$ here is on the order of 10,000). Furthermore, suppose we have a graph $G=(V,E)$ describing some network, ...
3
votes
2answers
610 views

What are some interesting coupled harmonic oscillators problems?

That I could create as a classical mechanics class project? Other than the classical examples that we see in textbooks.
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How to determine viscous dampening coefficient of spring?

I'm trying to determine the viscous dampening coefficient of a spring $c$. Read about it on Wikipedia here. The two equations which I have are: $f=-cv$ and $ma+cv = -kx$ I know the spring constant ...
3
votes
0answers
37 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
42 views

Driven-damped oscillator: deduce the phase and/or resonant freq from amplitudes at varying freqs

Suppose that we have a fairly standard driven-damped harmonic oscillator (i.e. linear spring restoring force, linear damping force, sinusoidal driving force, etc). The catch is: we don't know the ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

solution of pendulum equation [closed]

I have the pendulum expression $$\ddot{\theta}+\omega_{o}^{2}\sin(\theta)=0,$$ where I used a Taylor expansion for the sine term: ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

Constant of motion

An exercise from Goldstein (9.31-3rd Ed) asks to show that for a one-dimensional harmonic oscillator $u(q,p,t)$ is a constant of motion where $$ u(q,p,t)=\ln(p+im\omega q)-i\omega t $$ and ...
3
votes
0answers
187 views

Measure energy state of quantum harmonic oscillator

When discussing the quantum mechanical harmonic oscillator we are talking about energy eigenstates. How would one actually measure in which state an harmonic oscillator is in? Could you weigh it and ...
3
votes
0answers
187 views

The Hamiltonian for clocks?

I am rather a theoretician and looking for a formalism to represent biological clocks by Hermitian operators. The simplest thought model I am looking for is a formal representation of a clock (for ...
3
votes
0answers
962 views

Effective mass in Spring-with-mass/mass system

Suppose you have a particle of mass $m$ fixed to a spring of mass $m_0$ that, in turn, is fixed to some wall. I'm trying to calculate the effective mass $m'$ that appears in the law of motion of the ...
3
votes
0answers
2k views

Energy Levels of 3D Isotropic Harmonic Oscillator (Nuclear Shell Model)

One simple way of detailing the very basic structure of the nuclear shell model involves placing the nucleons in a 3D isotropic oscillator. It's easy to show that the energy eigenvalues are $E = ...
2
votes
2answers
78 views

What is the physical meaning of $a_{\vec{p}} \! \mid \! 0 \rangle$

$a^\dagger_{\vec{p}} \! \mid \! 0 \rangle = \mid \! p \rangle$ is interpreted as a creation of a particle with momentum $p$ from the vacuum. $a_{\vec{p}} \! \mid \! p \rangle = \mid \! 0 \rangle$ is ...
2
votes
2answers
422 views

Why are overtones forbidden within the harmonic approximation?

In vibrational spectroscopy only transitions between neighboring vibrational states ($\Delta \nu = \pm 1$, $\nu$ being the vibrational quantum number) are allowed within the harmonic approximation. ...
2
votes
2answers
833 views

Hermite polynomials for expected value of harmonic oscillator

This was a problem on my final exam that has been really bugging me. Consider the quantum Harmonic oscillator prepared in an energy eigenstate, $\psi_n$(x). Calculate the expectation value of the ...
2
votes
2answers
139 views

Undamped oscillations. Why is the solution a linear combination of $\sin()$ and $\cos()$?

$ma = mg - cx$, where $x(0) = x_0 = 0$ is the position in which there is no tension in the rope. $dx/dt = v_0$ for $t = 0$; $v_0$ is a known constant. The discriminant of the characteristic ...
2
votes
3answers
360 views

Complex energy eigenstates of the harmonic oscillator

Given the Hamiltonian for the the harmonic oscillator (HO) as $$ \hat H=\frac{\hat P^2}{2m}+\frac{m}{2}\omega^2\hat x^2\,, $$ the Schroedinger equation can be reduced to: $$ \left[ ...
2
votes
3answers
115 views

Unstable equilibrium in a pendulum

Consider a pendulum with a bob and a massless, rigid, hinged rod attached to the bob. The bob is at rest at the bottom most position. Neglecting friction, is it possible to impart such a velocity ...
2
votes
1answer
254 views

Harmonic Oscillator (Quantum Mechanics)

Griffiths uses an algebraic "brute force" technique to solve the harmonic oscillator. I'm somewhat confused regarding a few parts. $$\frac{1}{2m}[p^2 + (m \omega x)^2] \psi = E \psi$$ $H = ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How To Use Ladder Operators?

I'm studying for a test in quantum mechanics and I'm having a hard time understanding how to use ladder operators. There are no examples in my text book, only definitions that I can't understand how ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Infinite period in Simple Harmonic Motion

I'm studying the Simple Harmonic Motion, and I am hesitant about, how to get mass values for infinite period? When mass is 0. When mass is infinite. With $\tau=2\pi/\sqrt{k/m}$.
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Organs & Oscillations: An Analysis on the Temperature Dynamics of Solids

Does temperature have an influence on the frequency of an oscillating organ pipe?
2
votes
4answers
297 views

Why is linear independence of harmonic oscillator solutions important?

The equation of motion for the harmonic oscillator (mass on spring model) $$\frac{d^2x}{dt^2} + \omega_0^2 x = 0$$ with $\omega_0^2 = D/m$, $D$ and $m$ being the force constant of the spring and the ...
2
votes
2answers
30 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
189 views

Quantum harmonic oscillator solved by analytic method using Schrödinger equation and wave function

I'm having trouble understanding the recursion formula. Using $\xi \equiv \sqrt{m\omega/\hbar}x$ and $K = 2E/\hbar\omega$, the time-independent Schrödinger equation becomes $$\frac{d^2\psi}{d\xi ^2} ...
2
votes
2answers
287 views

Eigenstates of a shifted harmonic oscillator

Let's say I have a quantum harmonic oscillator $H = \omega a^\dagger a$, where $a^\dagger$ is the raising operator and $a$ is the lowering operator and $H |n\rangle = \omega n |n\rangle$. Now assume ...