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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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 ...
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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 ...
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655 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 ...
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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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68 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 = ...
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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 ...
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167 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) = ...
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464 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 ...
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165 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 $\left| \alpha \right \rangle$ ...
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108 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 ...
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383 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 ...
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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 ...
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33 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 ...
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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 ...
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87 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 = ...
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52 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 ...
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171 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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: ...
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486 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 ...
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1answer
219 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. ...
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883 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 ...
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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 ...
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386 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 ...
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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 ...
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187 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
71 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 $j$, ...
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41 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, ...
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134 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 ...
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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 ...
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132 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 ...
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205 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 &= ...
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65 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 = ...
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99 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 $sin(\omega t)$: ...
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1answer
116 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 ...
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1answer
329 views

Determining the spring constant in an oscillation problem [closed]

A 130g air-track glider is attached to a spring. The glider is pushed in 10.4cm and released. A student with a stopwatch finds that 14.0 oscillations take 19.0s I would like to know why the ...
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1answer
70 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
165 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 ...
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1answer
279 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 ...
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2answers
720 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 ...
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375 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 ...
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1answer
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Given the spring constant & maximum kinetic energy; length of spring extension? [on hold]

I need to understand the following question before i right my exam tomorrow. A body attached to a spring with spring constant 100 N/m executes simple harmonic motion. The maximum kinetiv energy of ...
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2answers
42 views

Help explain how direction change relates to acceleration [duplicate]

I was doing some simple harmonic motion problems and I came across this picture describing the position, velocity and acceleration of a linear oscillator. At the moment in time when v is 0 the ...
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2answers
57 views

Angular momentum for 3D harmonic oscillator in two different bases

I know that the energy eigenstates of the 3D quantum harmonic oscillator can be characterized by three quantum numbers: $$ | n_1,n_2,n_3\rangle$$ or, if solved in the spherical coordinate system: ...
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1answer
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Nodes in wave functions outside of the classical turning point

When looking at the solutions of the classical harmonic oscillator for instance from wikipedia one can observe that there are no nodes in the wavefunction outside the classical turning points. But I ...
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1answer
89 views

Meaning of “Simple” in Simple Pendulum and Simple Harmonic Motion?

I have gone through the Phys.SE question Why is simple harmonic motion called so?. From the 1st answer of this Question it seems to me that another type of "Harmonic motion" is "Damped Harmonic ...