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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A good theoretical approximation for a magnetically damped pendulum

In a laboratory course we had to perform an experiment with a pendulum (just an iron weight on a wire) and play around for some time with its wire's length and so on. This was quite boring and we ...
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983 views

Standing Waves: finding the number of antinodes [closed]

A string with a fixed frequency vibrator at one end forms a standing wave with 4 antinodes when under tension T1. When the tension is slowly increased, the standing wave disappears until tension T2 is ...
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Calculating phase difference of sound waves

An observer stands 3 m from speaker A and 5 m from speaker B. Both speakers, oscillating in phase, produce waves with a frequency of 250 Hz. The speed of sound in air is 340 m/s. What is the phase ...
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37 views

How can I find the frequency? [duplicate]

Grocery stores often have spring scales in their produce department to weigh fruits and vegetables. The pan of one particular scale has a mass of 0.5 kg, and when you place a 0.5 kg sack of potatoes ...
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191 views

Doubling the energy of an oscillating mass on a spring [closed]

From this question: Question 1. What do we need to change in order to double the total energy of a mass oscillating at the end of a spring? (a) increase the angular frequency by $\sqrt{2}$. ...
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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 ...
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392 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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210 views

The issue on existence of inverse operations of $a$ and $a^{\dagger}$

I have asked a question at math.stackexchange that have a physical meaning. My assumption: Suppose $a$ and $a^\dagger$ is Hermitian adjoint operators and $[a,a^\dagger]=1$. I want to prove that ...
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117 views

Does spatial coupling prohibit resonances due to an external source field?

The harmonic oscillator coupled to a sinodial external source $$\frac{\partial^2 x(t)}{\partial t^2}+\omega_0^2 x(t)=F_0\sin(\omega_\text{ext}\ t),$$ has the solution $$x(t)=x(0)\cos(\omega_0 t)+C ...
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330 views

Accessible microstates of harmonic oscillator in microcanonical enemble

While reading up on statistical physics, I am going through the calculation of the partition function of the harmonic oscillator in the microcanonical ensemble. The result for the partition function ...
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134 views

Why uncertainity is minimum for coherent states?

While reading for quantum damped harmonic oscillator, I came across coherent states, and I asked my prof about them and he said me it is the state at which $\Delta x\Delta y$ is minimum. I didn't ...
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140 views

Hyperbolic, parabolic, elliptical PDE related to under-, critical- and overdamped in harmonic osciallation

A damped harmonic oscillator has three cases for the damping: underdamped, critically damped and overdamped. With partial differential equations, I know the hyperbolic wave equation, the parabolic ...
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179 views

Coordinate representation of quantum ladder operator?

I can't seem to figure out how to derive the coordinate representation of the $a_+$ ladder operator in quantum mechanics. I know that $a_-$ is $\sqrt{\frac{1}{2mwh}} (mwx + i\dot{p}) $ in which where ...
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395 views

FWHM in resonance amplitude square derivation

Consider a linear harmonic oscillator subject to a periodic force: $$ \ddot x + 2 \beta \dot x + \omega _0 ^2x = f_0\cos \omega t$$ The solution tends to: $$A \cos (\omega t - \delta)$$ where: ...
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164 views

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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Can someone please derive $T=2\pi\sqrt{l/g}$ or prove it without using calculus?

I don't know much calculus, but I want to know that how one derives the formula to find time period $T$ of a simple pendulum.
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579 views

Why is simple harmonic motion called so?

Is the motion of a simple pendulum, a simple harmonic motion? It stops vibrating after sometime.
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98 views

Sitting on the bob of a pendulum

Walter Lewin's best performance was the pendulum demonstration, and I copy the transcript now: Would the period come out to be the same or not? [students respond] Some of you think it's ...
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136 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: ...
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792 views

Constant magnetic field applied to a quantum harmonic oscillator

I have a spinless particle of mass $m$ and charge $q$ which is an isotropic harmonic oscillator of frequency $\omega_0$, then I apply a constant magnetic field in the $z$ direction. We can show the ...
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270 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 ...
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290 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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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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957 views

Why don't tuning forks have three prongs?

I was reading Why tuning forks have two prongs?. The top answer said the reason was to reduce oscillation through the hand holding the other prong. So if having 2 prongs will reduce oscillation loss, ...
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How to derive the period of spring pendulum?

So I wanted to find out how to (simply, if that's possible) derive the formula for a period of spring pendulum: $T=2\pi \sqrt{\frac{m}{k}}$. However, Google doesn't help me here as all I see is the ...
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509 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 ...
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1k views

Estimate the damping coefficient of my car

I was wondering how I can estimate the damping coefficient of my car by doing the hand bouncing the car body and watching the motion of the car? I just need a rough estimate of the damping ...
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413 views

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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Finding an equation for velocity and acceleration

I'm trying to derive an equation for the velocity and acceleration of an object undergoing simple harmonic motion. I have the equation for displacement: $x = A\sin (2 \pi ft)$ If I differentiate the ...
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278 views

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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94 views

Noise spectrum of two systems and interacting Hamiltonian

I've been discovering recently the concept of noise spectrum, defined as: $$S_{xx}[\omega] = \int dt<x(t)x(0)>\text{e}^{-i\omega t}$$ Roughly the Fourrier transform of the two-point function. ...
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523 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 ...
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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 ...
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Showing that the probability density of a linear harmonic oscillator is periodic

The complete question I am trying to answer is the following: Show that the probability density of a linear harmonic oscillator in an arbitrary superposition state is periodic with period equal to ...
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Harmonic oscillator and Lorentz symmetry

There is a analog between harmonic oscillator $x=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2\omega}}(a+a^\dagger)$ and quantum field $\phi=\int dp^3\frac{1}{(2\pi)^3}\frac{1}{\sqrt{2\omega_p}}(a_p e^{ipx}+a^\dagger e^{-ipx})$, ...
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Expectation value of time-dependent Hamiltonian

I'm trying to solve a problem in QM with a forced quantum oscillator. In this problem I have a quantum oscillator, which is in the ground state initially. At $t=0$, the force $F(t)=F_0 \sin(\Omega t)$ ...
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Evolution operator for time-dependent Hamiltonian

When i studyed QM I'm only working with non time-dependent Hamiltonians. In this case unitary evolution operator has the form $$\hat{U}=e^{-\frac{i}{\hbar}Ht}$$ that follows from this equation $$ ...
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256 views

Spectrum of quantum fluctuations in a harmonic oscillator

If we have a harmonic oscillator and look at it on small scale the energy is quantized and we can calculate the different eigenstates. In general the energy eigenvalues are given by $$E_n = ...
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What is the formula for max kinetic and max potential energy of a spring?

What is the formula for max kinetic and max potential energy of a spring?
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140 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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Finding an efficient strategy for walking

Let's say you are already walking at a maximally efficient combination of pace and stride (or $\omega$ and $X_0$ I guess) but you need to reach your destination faster. Should you increase/decrease ...
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Understanding the concept of period of motion in simple harmonic motion formula

I have a spring system, whose position equation is $$x(t) = c_1cos(8 \sqrt{2}t) + c_2sin(8 \sqrt{2}t)$$ The textbook says it will have a period of motion of $\frac{2 \pi}{(8 \sqrt{2}t)}$. I ...
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359 views

Basis transformation between eigenstates of harmonic oscillators with different frequency

Given two harmonic oscillators with frequencies $\Omega$ and $\Omega'$, the eigenstates themselves are exactly known. Let's call them $\Psi_n$ and $\Psi'_n$. Is there a compact expression for the ...
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264 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 ...
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277 views

Spring-mass physics homework question [closed]

I've been having trouble with my physics homework. The problem is: You may have measured the properties of a simple spring-mass system in the lab. Suppose you found ks = 0.9 N/m and m = 0.01 kg, ...
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846 views

Linear motion with variable acceleration

Consider the following problem I pull a mass m resting at x = 0 on a frictionless table connected to a spring with some k by an amount A and let it go. What will be its speed at x=0? I know how to ...
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286 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, ...
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Does every wavenumber of IR result in a different kind of vibration?

Does every wavenumber of IR result in a different kind of vibration? If that is true, what if a molecule absorb 2 different wavenumbers (which cause different rocking and symmetrical stretching for ...
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251 views

Frequency of a tuning fork in a vacuum

Consider this equation of a damped harmonic oscillator such that: $$ \ddot{x}+2\gamma\dot{x}+\omega^2_0=0 $$ with: $\gamma=\frac{b}{2m}$ and $\omega_0=\sqrt{\frac{k}{m}}$ Finally, we know that the ...
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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 ...