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)

2
votes
2answers
564 views

Non-Degeneracy of Eigenvalues of Number Operator for Simple Harmonic Oscillator [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Proof that the One-Dimensional Simple Harmonic Oscillator is Non-Degenerate? I'm trying to convince myself that the eigenvalues $n$ of the number operator ...
2
votes
2answers
174 views

Force to use in harmonic oscillation through the inside of a planet

I am to find an equation for the time it takes when one falls through a planet to the other side and returns to the starting point. I have seven different sets of values - mass of object falling, mass ...
2
votes
3answers
8k views

When are Maximum Velocity and Acceleration acheived in Simple Harmonic Motion?

Im trying to get my head around SMH out of curiosity because it seems simple yet I'm not getting the concept behind some ideas. For a SMH equation : $$ x=a \sin(\omega t+\phi) $$ Under what ...
2
votes
1answer
676 views

Using Fourier Transforms to Solve Systems with springs of high frequency

I'm trying to numerically solve the differential equations of motion in a system with multiple springs of very high frequency. Because the solution is often a combination of rapidly-oscillating sine ...
2
votes
4answers
16k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Simplest explanation of pendulum having a constant time period at low angles

What is the simplest explanation for the pendulum having a constant time period at low angles?
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Quantum Harmonic Oscillator - Normalizability of Annihilated Ground State

The common line of deductions in the operator analysis of the quantum harmonic oscillator goes something like this: It is derived that the action of the annihilation operator $a$ on an eigenfunction ...
2
votes
1answer
78 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 = ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Eigenstates of a density matrix of continuous variables

Consider a system of two entangled harmonic oscillators. The normalised ground state is denoted by $\psi_0(x_1,x_2)$. The reduced density matrix of the second oscillator is given by: $$\rho_2 = ...
2
votes
2answers
142 views

Harmonic Oscillator driven by a Dirac delta-like force

Consider that there is no damping for simplicity. As we know, a driving force of the form $\sin(\omega t)$ will make the oscillator at steady state vibrates at the external frequency $\omega$. What ...
2
votes
2answers
169 views

Harmonic Oscillator - Energy quantisation

The one-dimensional quantum HO can be solved in Schrodinger representation by getting Hermite Differential Equation $$ \frac{d^2y}{dx^2} - 2x \frac{dy}{dx} + \lambda y = 0 $$ with solutions $$ y(x) = ...
2
votes
1answer
523 views

Equations of motion for a pendulum in 3D?

I am trying to solve for the equations of motion to simulate a pendulum. I decided to use the spherical coordinates. The Lagrange equation is: where L = length of the rope ϕ= angle of the ...
2
votes
1answer
172 views

Harmonic Oscillator Expectation Value

In Calculating the expectation value of the quantum harmonic oscillator, I've come across a problem for finding $\left \langle x \right \rangle$ for the coherent state $\left| \alpha \right \rangle$ ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

One body harmonic oscillator states expressed in terms of creation operators

I am reading trough chapter one of Moshinsky's "The harmonic Oscillator in Modern Physics". However i am having some trouble with the mathematics in section 8 of chapter 1. I will sketch a summary of ...
2
votes
1answer
391 views

Simple harmonic oscillator system and changes in its total energy

Suppose I have a body of mass $M$ connected to a spring (which is connected to a vertical wall) with a stiffness coefficient of $k$ on some frictionless surface. The body oscillates from point $C$ to ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Using eigenvalues to determine the stability/behaviour of the system

first time I've been on physics.se but have used the math and cs before... Anyway, here's my question: If we have a damped pendulum described by the equation $$y'' + ay' + b = 0 , a>0$$ Using the ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

WKB approximation in two dimensions

Does anybody know how to implement the WKB approximation for the two-dimensional Schrodinger equation with a harmonic oscillator potential: $\frac{1}{2}\Biggl[-\biggl(\frac{\partial^2}{\partial ...
2
votes
0answers
124 views

What are you studying when you study a Harmonic Oscillator in QM?

This probably is a naive question - so please forgive a self-studier. In the text I am studying, one builds a HO by placing a particle in a potential that increases quadratically from the origin. The ...
2
votes
0answers
91 views

Different hamiltonians for quantum harmonic oscillator?

The Hamiltonian for a classical simple harmonic oscillator is $$ H = \frac{p^2}{2m} + \frac{1}{2}m\omega^2x^2$$ With the usual choice of the ladder operators $$a = ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

Mean energy harmonic oscillator

I know that for a particle under the potential $$V(x,y,z)=\frac{k}{2}(x^2+y^2+z^2)$$ the equipartition theorem says that it contributes to the mean energy to $\frac{3k_BT}{2} $ (one half for each ...
2
votes
0answers
174 views

Conservation of energy in a quantum harmonic oscillator after a sudden change in spring constant

At a given instant of time, a harmonic oscillator undergoes a sudden change in spring constant from $k$ to $k'$. Show that for energy to be conserved in the accompanying transition, $\sqrt{k/k'}$ must ...
2
votes
0answers
52 views

Is there an equation that tells you more about the amplitude of an object which is in resonance?

I'm a high school senior and I have to write a paper about resonance and differential equations. I've been searching the Internet for a long time, but I haven't found an equation that is properly ...
2
votes
0answers
110 views

Number theoretical function applied in physics? [closed]

I have a series of number theoretic phenomena (mathematics) that I can describe exactly by the superpositions or linear combination of the below function (I know it is an inverse Fourier type). Does ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

2nd order pertubation theory for harmonic oscillator

I'm having some trouble calculating the 2nd order energy shift in a problem. I am given the pertubation: $\hat{H}'=\alpha \hat{p}$, where $\alpha$ is a constant, and $\hat{p}$ is given by: ...
2
votes
0answers
489 views

Amplitude of a Forced Harmonic Oscillator

For an assignment in one of my maths units at uni, I've been asked to derive and solve the differential equation of motion for a forced harmonic oscillator, with the forcing function having the form ...
1
vote
1answer
227 views

Quantum harmonic Oscillator analytic method

I'm using a book from Griffiths, I got really stuck about how he arrived at the approximate solution, is it just by trying( trial solution method?), I really appreciate any help on this. ...
1
vote
3answers
918 views

Does the Fundamental Frequency in a Vibrating String NOT Necessarily Have the Strongest Amplitude?

I am doing some experiments on musical strings (guitar, piano, etc.). After performing a Fourier Transform on the sound recorded from those string vibrations, I find that the fundamental frequency is ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Partition function for quantum harmonic oscillator

Hi guys I'm currently trying to solve a mock exam for an exam in a few days and am a bit confused by the solutions they gave us for this exercise: Exercise: A solid is composed of N atoms which ...
1
vote
1answer
410 views

What is the correct Hamiltonian for a system of coupled quantum oscillators?

The Hamiltonian (see Eqn. 1 in Appendix 2 of this paper) for a system of coupled quantum oscillators is given as $$H=\frac{1}{2}∑_{i}p^{2}_{i}+\frac{1}{2}∑_{j,k}A_{jk}q_{i}q_{k}$$ Yet, in my QM ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Time period of torsion oscillation

For the oscillation of a torsion pendulum (a mechanical motion), the time period is given by $T=2\pi\sqrt{\frac{I}{C}}$ which is a result of the angular acceleration ...
1
vote
1answer
190 views

Spring oscillations and waves

Consider a block of mass $m$ attached to a spring. Let it oscillate at a frequency $f$. Now each part of the spring is in SHM. so this means a wave is propagating through this spring.bCan this wave be ...
1
vote
5answers
174 views

Is $\langle\psi_1|p\psi_1\rangle$ necessarily 0 for eigenstates? [closed]

Is $\langle\psi_1|p\psi_1\rangle$ necessarily 0 for harmonic oscillator eigenstates? If $\Psi(x,t)= c_0\psi_0(x)e^{-iE_0t/\hbar}+c_1\psi_1(x)e^{-iE_1t/\hbar}$, is the following true? Where $p$ is ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

How to prove that a motion is Simple Harmonic Motion (SHM)?

I would like to know how one could show and prove that a given motion is simple harmonic motion. Once given an answer, I'll apply that technique to an example I am trying to figure out. Thank you ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Derivation of $a_{j}$ coefficients in the quantum harmonic oscillator

In Griffiths' book page 53, when we derive the solution of the quantum harmonic oscillator by using the power series way, we have: $$a_{j+2} = \frac{2j+1-K}{(j+1)(j+2)}\, a_{j} .$$ And for large $j$, ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

How can I find the motion equations of the 2-dim harmonic oscillator?

First of all: I am no physicist, so I am rather helpless. I need to find the moving equations of the 2-dim. harmonic oscillator. If it is possible it should be rather elementary, because, as I said, ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

Energy eigenvalues of a Q.H.Oscillator with $[\hat{H},\hat{a}] = -\hbar \omega \hat{a}$ and $[\hat{H},\hat{a}^\dagger] = \hbar \omega \hat{a}^\dagger$

I just finished deriving the commutators: \begin{align} [\hat{H}, \hat{a}] &= -\hbar \omega \hat{a}\\ [\hat{H}, \hat{a}^\dagger] &= \hbar \omega \hat{a}^\dagger\\ \end{align} On the ...
1
vote
2answers
122 views

How does one subtract two light beams?

From what I understand, it seems like you can only "add" beams together. You can use a beam combiner, basically using a beam splitter in reverse, to combine two beams. In homodyne detection, you use a ...
1
vote
1answer
138 views

Strange Behavior in Spring Computer Model

To learn more about oscillatory motion which I am learning about in my high school physics class, I have created a computer model of a damped spring where the damping force is proportional to ...
1
vote
2answers
209 views

Simple step in time evolution of position operator in simple harmonic motion

When considering the 'Heisenberg' picture of the harmonic oscillator, I've come across the step: $$\begin{align} \left\langle n\left|(\hat{q_H}\hat{H}-\hat{H}\hat{q_H})\right|k\right\rangle &= ...
1
vote
2answers
55 views

What do they mean by a pendulum losing seconds?

In many pendulum related question, a pendulum is taken do a different place where it loses seconds. For example: A second's pendulum is taken to a mountain and it loses 20 seconds per day. What ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

Creation and Annihilation Operators

Let $\widehat{a}^{+}_{i}$ and $\widehat{a}_{i}$ be the usual bosonic creation and annihilation operators. Consider $$\widehat{q}_{i} = \sqrt{\frac{\hbar}{2m_{i}w_{i}}}(\widehat{a}_{i}+ ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

Phase space derivation of quantum harmonic oscillator partition function

I would like to derive the partition function for the quantum Harmonic oscillator from scratch: $$\tag{1} Z = \int dp \, dx\, e^{-\beta H}.$$ The free particle appears in many textbooks. $H = ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

Phase Plot for Harmonic Oscillator

This is probably gonna be a dumb question but I don't know exactly where I am making the mistake. I have been taught in highschool that simple harmonic oscillator phase plot is the $sin(\omega t)$: ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

Change of operator in the Hamiltonian [closed]

We are told that the particle has mass m and charge e and is moving in 2 dimensions. The position operator $\mathbf{X}=(X_{1},X_{2})$ and momentum operator $\mathbf{P}=(P_{1},P_{2})$ We are given ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Spring with changing equilibrium

Suppose that we have two cars on a track, each with a different mass. Now suppose that the cars are connected with a spring. We smack one car. I would like to write down the equations of motion for ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

SHM of floating objects

If we consider an object undergoing who has an acceleration proportional to the displacement of the object, it is going simple harmonic motion. In terms of Newton's second law, this is $$ -\dfrac k ...
1
vote
2answers
171 views

Potential energy during vertical fall

Suppose I have a weightless spring connected perpendicularly to the ground, and it has on top of it some weightless surface. Now, I release some sticky object from height $h$ above the system of light ...
1
vote
1answer
285 views

Shift operator (integral calculus involving Hermite polynomials) [closed]

I didn't know whether to pose this question on Physics.stackexchange or Math.stackexchange. But since this is the last step of a development involving the eigenfunctions of an Harmonic oscillator and ...
1
vote
2answers
740 views

Does a cycle (in Simple Harmonic Motion) have to equal 2π?

So, I search for the definition of cycle and I get this in Wikipedia: A turn is a unit of angle measurement equal to 360° or 2π radians (or ...). A turn is also referred to as a revolution or ...
1
vote
1answer
378 views

Help understanding this forced undamped oscillator

I have a forced oscillating system, with driving force as $f_0\cos\omega_0 t \cos \delta t$ giving the equation of motion: $$\ddot{x}(t) +\Gamma \dot{x}(t) +\omega_0^2x(t) = f_0\cos\omega_0 t \cos ...