Tagged Questions

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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Is it a coincidence that quantum harmonic oscillators and photons have energy quantised as $E=hf$?

I have studied the quantum harmonic oscillator and solved the Schrodinger equation to find the eigen-energies given by $$E_n = \left(n+\frac{1}{2}\right)\hbar \omega.$$ Which means the energy ...
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Simple Harmonic Motion in Special Relativity

I was trying to see what results I would get if I were to incorporate relativistic corrections into the case of a harmonic oscillator in one dimension. I thought that if the maximum velocity of the ...
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“Equidistant” spectra in quantum mechanics [duplicate]

In one-dimensional quantum mechanics, it seems that the only kind of potential able to produce an "equidistant" spectrum, i.e. with $E_{n+1}-E_{n}=\text{constant}$, is the harmonic oscillator. Why is ...
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Proof for commutator relation $[\hat{H},\hat{a}] = - \hbar \omega \hat{a}$

I know how to derive below equations found on wikipedia and have done it myselt too: \begin{align} \hat{H} &= \hbar \omega \left(\hat{a}^\dagger\hat{a} + \frac{1}{2}\right)\\ \hat{H} &= \...
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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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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 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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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 ...
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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 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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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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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. The ...
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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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