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)

4
votes
2answers
382 views

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} &= ...
1
vote
2answers
125 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
227 views

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 $x=a\sin(\omega t)$. ...
3
votes
1answer
479 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

What is $\gamma$ in the damping equation?

$x''+\gamma x'+w_0^2x=0$ That is the general equation for damped harmonic motion. What is the term or name that describes $\gamma$? Is it called the damping constant? I know its the ration between ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

Quantum harmonic oscilator - book that does it all right [duplicate]

I am dealing with quantum harmonic oscillator. In every single book or video i have checked out i can read how the mathematical technique for solving this Schrödinger equation: $$ W\psi = - ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

Harmonic oscillator with light damping

My textbook gives the following for x as a function of time for a lightly damped harmonic oscillator: $$ x = Ae^{- \gamma t} \cos (\omega \, t)$$ for $\gamma = \dfrac b {2m}$. It says this implies ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
4
votes
0answers
298 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). ...
1
vote
1answer
369 views

Compound pendulum clarification?

I read in a book the following about compound pendulum and small displacements: There are two points only for which the time period is minimum. there are maximum 4 points for which the time ...
1
vote
1answer
143 views

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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
38 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
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 $\sqrt{2}$. ...
1
vote
2answers
179 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
400 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
217 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
355 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
139 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
143 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
418 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: ...
4
votes
1answer
175 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

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.
1
vote
2answers
611 views

Why is simple harmonic motion called so?

Is the motion of a simple pendulum, a simple harmonic motion? It stops vibrating after sometime.
2
votes
1answer
100 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
140 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: ...
4
votes
2answers
816 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
277 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
300 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
3answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
973 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, ...
0
votes
3answers
7k views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
520 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
429 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 + ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
284 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
95 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. ...
3
votes
2answers
542 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
598 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
307 views

Harmonic oscillator and Lorentz symmetry

There is a analog between harmonic oscillator $x=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2\omega}}(a+a^\dagger)$ and quantum field $\phi=\int dp^3\frac{1}{(2\pi)^3}\frac{1}{\sqrt{2\omega_p}}(a_p e^{ipx}+a^\dagger e^{-ipx})$, ...
5
votes
2answers
726 views

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 $F(t)=F_0 \sin(\Omega t)$ ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

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 $$ ...
0
votes
1answer
262 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 = ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

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?
1
vote
1answer
142 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 ...