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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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 ...
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Evolution of harmonic oscillator in path integral formulation

The unnormalized ground state of the harmonic oscillator (choosing units such that $m = \hbar = \omega = 1)$ is $$\tag{1}\psi(q,t) = \exp(-q^2/2-it/2).$$ The transition function is ...
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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 ...
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Why is the damping force on a spring oscillator linearly dependent on velocity?

If you consider the damping force is friction like in: then the force should be $$F=\mu N$$ where $\mu$ is the coefficient of kinetic friction. Why then is the damping force assumed to be linearly ...
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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 ...
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Pendulum Wave Period

Recently I've seen various videos showing the pendulum wave effect. All of the videos which I have found have a pattern which repeats every $60\mathrm{s}$. I am trying to work out the relationship ...
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Writing equation for amplitude of driven harmonic oscillator in Lorentzian form

This harmonic oscillator is driven and damped, with the form: $$\ddot{x} + \lambda \dot{x} + \omega_0^2 x = A \cos(\omega_d t)$$ Now, I have used the ansatz (guess): $x(t) = B \cos(\omega_d t + ...
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Hamiltonian related to Riemann zeta function [closed]

using the eigenvstates of the Harmonic oscillator could we give a meaning to the Hamiltonian $$ H=\log(a.a^{+}+1) $$ here $ a$ and $ a^{+}$ are the creation/anihilation operators with commutation ...
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145 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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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 = ...
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Is this oscillator driven?

A mass $m$ is attached to a vertical massless spring or a spring constant $k$. Originally, the spring was relaxed because the mass was held by a clip. Suddenly the clip was released. THe mass ...
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211 views

Faster than critical damping for harmonic oscillator?

The image below shows damping for spring oscillator with Hooke law F=-kx and damped with F=-cv where: k is spring constant x is oscillator position c is damping coefficient v is velocity of oscillator ...
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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 ...
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Second Quantization - Texts

I am trying to familiarize myself with the ideas of Second Quantization. However, the literature that I can find online seems only to outline the tools of this formalism of quantum mechanics. There ...
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Is the number-phase uncertainty relation classical?

For a harmonic oscillator in one dimension, there is an uncertainty relation between the number of quanta $n$ and the phase of the oscillation $\phi$. There are all kinds of technical complications ...
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Metronome synchronisation applied to swings

The movement of several metronomes can be synchronised when a movable floor is utilised which couples the movement of the different metronomes. Is it possible to apply this sort of synchronisation to ...
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Free energy of coupled classical harmonic oscillators

I'm looking to find the thermodynamic (NVT) free energy of a classical coupled harmonic oscillator system such as the one below: (image taken from ...
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213 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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Are Black Holes set to take over the Harmonic Oscillator in the 21st century? [closed]

A few years ago I attended a talk given by Andy Strominger entitled Black Holes- The Harmonic Oscillators of the 21st Century. This talk, ...
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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 ...
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536 views

Relativistic genarization of Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

I am trying to find out relativistic description of a quantum harmonic oscillator. For a classical relativistic oscillator mass is a function of co-ordinates(http://arxiv.org/abs/1209.2876). ...
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Using $\sin()$ or $\cos()$ for computing SHM?

In simple harmonic motion, you can use either the sin or cos form of the equation but my question is which one do you use when and why? I am having a tough time understanding this, so any help would ...
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Spring pendulum - why is it possible to use this equation?

It is known that, when we describe the spring pendulum, we are bound to use the formula $T = 2\pi \sqrt{m/k}$, however, we can go further and set $\omega = \frac{2\pi}{T}$ I ponder why is this ...
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Why doesn't mass of bob affect time period?

The gravitation formula says $$F = \frac{G m_1 m_2}{r^2} \, ,$$ so if the mass of a bob increases then the torque on it should also increase because the force increased. So, it should go faster and ...
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Definition of “Quantizing”

Could anyone explain to me what "quantize" means in the following context? Quantize the 1-D harmonic oscillator for which $$H~=~{p^2\over 2m}+{1\over 2} m\omega^2 x^2.$$ I understand that the ...
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“Complex Variables Method” in Diff. Eq. - Justification and physical meaning?

A common method of simplifying calculations that involve differential equations - particularly involving oscillation - is to replace $\cos(\theta)$ with $e^{i \omega t}$, evaluate, and then take the ...
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Why is the angle of a pendulum as a function of time a sine wave?

OK so I'm trying to understand why the angle of a pendulum as a function of time is a sine wave. I can't really find an explanation online and when I do find something partial there are certain ...
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Why do the ladder operators in harmonic oscillators work?

The Hamiltonian can be diagonalized by transforming $x$ and $p$ to $a$ and $a^\dagger$. I understand how one proceeds from there to find the spectrum of $a^\dagger a$, the ground state $|0\rangle$ and ...
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What is the time period of an oscillator with varying spring constant?

It is well known that the time period of a harmonic oscillator when mass $m$ and spring constant $k$ are constant is $T=2\pi\sqrt{m/k}$. However, I would be interested to know what the time period ...
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Why is energy in a system typically able to be described using quadratic expressions?

This might be more of an applied math question. Why is the energy of a system typically able to be described using quadratic expressions. Is there an underlying mechanic that drives this?
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 $x=a\sin(\omega t)$. ...
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Motion of $n$ bodies connected with springs

Let's consider $n$ cuboids moving without friction, each of mass $m_i$. Each wo neighboring cuboids are connected with a spring of the coefficient $k$. ...
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Approximating taylor series for a harmonic oscillator

The elastic potential energy is defined as $V\left ( x \right )=\frac{1}{2}Kx^{2}$ Then suppose the point $x=x_{0}$ is the point of a local minimum. We know that any potential about a local ...
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Area of phase space of Harmonic oscillator

We all know that the phase trajectory of an undamped linear harmonic oscillator is an ellipse. But when we calculate the area of the ellipse we find it does not depend of mass of the particle. Why is ...
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Is it possible to write the fermionic quantum harmonic oscillator using $P$ and $X$?

The Hamiltonian of the quantum harmonic oscillator is $$\mathcal{H}=\frac{P^2}{2m}+\frac{1}{2}m\omega^2X^2$$ and we can define creation and annihilation operators ...
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How is a string in string theory 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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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 ...
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Velocity and acceleration in SHM

Can velocity and acceleration reach maximal values during the SHM simultaneously? Can you explain why?
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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 ...
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Why are particles in harmonic motion in normal modes?

Why do we assume that in normal modes, particles oscillate in form cos (wt) ? How do we know that the general motion of particles can be expressed as a superposition of normal modes? In both French ...
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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 ...
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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 ...