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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Why is a coherent state an eigenfunction to the annihilation operator? [duplicate]

In class when we talked about the harmonic oscillator in QM we noticed that the eigenfunctions to the annihilation operator are coherent states in the sense that they have minimum uncertainty in ...
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Velocity and acceleration in SHM

Can velocity and acceleration reach maximal values during the SHM simultaneously? Can you explain why?
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1answer
799 views

Spring problem? [closed]

I came across this problem in physics "Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics by Serway" A block on the end of a spring is pulled to position $x = A$ and released from rest. In ...
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1answer
522 views

Three-mass, two springs copled oscillator NOT attached to walls

Int he three-mass coupled oscillator problem, we often see it stated that you have three masses, (they can be equal or not, but we'll assume they are equal here) connected by two springs and then ...
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Complex Fourier Particular Solution [closed]

I have found the complex Fourier series for my desired force. I now need to find the steady-state forced vibration of my oscillator as a Fourier Series. (The particular solution to the inhomogeneous ...
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1answer
363 views

Isotropic harmonic oscillator in polar versus cartesian

I read another Phys.SE post here: 3D Quantum harmonic oscillator that I believe says the wave function in Cartesian coordinates for a 3D harmonic oscillator is the product of the 3 one dimensional ...
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105 views

In an oscillating system (SHM) with a constantly increasing amplitude, how do you relate the constant period with the highest amplitude

For example, I am working on this problem, and I don't know where to begin. All the relationships that I can think of include a constant amplitude. [A (w/w^2) sin/cos theta] Here's the problem: A ...
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1answer
302 views

Simple pendulum. quick question [closed]

I was trying to find an equation to find $T$ and $\omega$ for a simple pendulum when in an elevator while the elevator is accelerating. One scenario is when it accelerates in the positive up ...
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1answer
14k views

How to find the phase constant? [closed]

I was given this velocity-vs-time graph of a particle in simple harmonic motion: I determined the amplitude to be $A = 1.15$ m, which Mastering Physics confirmed is correct. Then I was asked to ...
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1answer
814 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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1answer
2k views

Ground State Wavefunction of Two Particles in a Harmonic Oscillator Potential

Question: Two identical, non-interacting spin-$1/2$ particles are in a 1D Harmonic Oscillator Potential. Their Hamiltonian is given by ...
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1answer
536 views

Eigenfrequencies of Normal Modes

I understand the whole deal with coupled oscillators and how to solve for normal modes and eigenfrequencies and such. But what is tripping me up is what these eigenfrequencies correspond to. If I ...
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1answer
533 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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324 views

Period of small oscillations [duplicate]

A light elastic string is stretched between two points, one lying vertically below the other. A particle is attached to the mid-point of the string, causing it to sink a distance h. Assuming that ...
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1answer
303 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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2answers
1k views

Mass-spring system on an incline

I am reviewing for an exam next week, and this is one of the questions I am stuck on. I have the mass-spring system above with spring constant $k$ on a frictionless incline. I would like to find the ...
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1answer
133 views

General way to model baths? Harmonic Oscillators valid?

I am trying to model an open system interaction without making strong assumptions on coupling strength or temperature. In general i understand that open systems are modeled by a Lindbladian, but as ...
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2answers
612 views

The harmonic oscillator - ladder operators

Reading from Griffiths. I have got two questions. First, the halmiltonian operator that used to find the energy eigenvalue in only harmonic oscillator is: $$H={\hbar}w(a_-a_+-\frac{1}{2})$$ and ...
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5answers
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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
163 views

Harmonic Motion [closed]

A light elastic string is stretched between two points, one lying vertically below the other. A particle is attached to the midpoint of the string, causing it to sink a distance h. Assuming that the ...
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3answers
1k views

Why Don't the Ladder Operators Commute?

I have two problems with ladder operators. The first is that I feel they should somehow result in measurable things. The asymmetry of applying the plus operator versus the minus operator is very ...
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2answers
2k views

How To Use Ladder Operators?

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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1answer
469 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
104 views

Interpretation of Free Damped Vibrations

I'm studying vibrations; so I'm using Beer-Johnston-Cornwell Dynamics book. I am worry about the equation for Underdamped Vibration, which in the book it is: $$x_{(t)}=x_0e^{-\lambda ...
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1answer
59 views

LC Oscillator and relativity

There are two identical LC oscillators with electronic counters attached indicating how many times they have oscillated (from the time they are turned on). They are turned on simultaneously and one is ...
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1answer
67 views

Infinite period in Simple Harmonic Motion

I'm studying the Simple Harmonic Motion, and I am hesitant about, how to get mass values for infinite period? When mass is 0. When mass is infinite. With $\tau=2\pi/\sqrt{k/m}$.
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273 views

Harmonic Oscillator (Quantum Mechanics)

Griffiths uses an algebraic "brute force" technique to solve the harmonic oscillator. I'm somewhat confused regarding a few parts. $$\frac{1}{2m}[p^2 + (m \omega x)^2] \psi = E \psi$$ $H = ...
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460 views

Two-block system connected to a spring

Say you have two blocks with masses $m_1$ and $m_2$, where $m_1>m_2$. The smaller block sits atop the larger block. The larger block is connected to a spring, which is then connected to a wall a ...
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1answer
309 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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1answer
186 views

Finding the tangential force experienced by a bob of mass m on a simple pendulum via the gradient/nabla operator)

The problem was posed as follows. Given a pendulum of length $L$ with a mass $m$ attached to it, which forms an angle $\theta$ from the y-axis to the direction of swinging. First we had to find the ...
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1answer
78 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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162 views

A basic question about Heisenberg State Kets (in particular the simple harmonic oscillator)

I know base kets in the Heisenberg picture are $U^\dagger |{a}\rangle$ but if the base kets are the base of the hamiltonian, and the hamiltonian is independent of time, are all of the base kets ...
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3answers
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Average Energy of the Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

In Griffiths, the average potential energy for the quantum harmonic oscillator is given as $$\langle V\rangle~=~\frac{1}{2}\hbar \omega(n+\frac{1}{2}).$$ Is the potential energy of the quantum ...
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1answer
997 views

Expectation value of total energy for the quantum harmonic oscillator [closed]

A particles unnormalized wavefunction is given as $$\psi(x)=2\psi_1+\psi_2+2\psi_3.$$ How can I find $\langle E\rangle $ without calculating $\langle T\rangle$ or $\langle V\rangle $ ...
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3answers
972 views

Simple harmonic oscillator: zero point energy?

Today we had a lecture on the simple harmonic oscillator and its quantum mechanical treatment. My teacher derived the equation for it and finally concluded it has some zero point energy. My ...
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2answers
174 views

“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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2answers
713 views

Vibration of pulley and string system [closed]

So here's the statement: A pulley of a mass $M$ is hanged using a spring (stiffness of the string being $k_1$), as shown in the image. What is the frequency of the pulley's oscillation? So that's ...
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192 views

Measure energy state of quantum harmonic oscillator

When discussing the quantum mechanical harmonic oscillator we are talking about energy eigenstates. How would one actually measure in which state an harmonic oscillator is in? Could you weigh it and ...
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1answer
1k views

Equations of motion for a spherical pendulum in a non-inertial reference frame

Take a spherical pendulum with bob mass $m$, rod length $\ell$ and physical coordinates $\theta$, $\phi$ (spherical angles) and $h$ (the hinge height with respect to the coordinate origin). The rod is ...
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Equations of motion for a pendulum and spring system

The question is available here: I've modeled the building as a rod on a torsional spring (with a pendulum hanging from the top). $\phi$ is the angle from the centre for the pendulum and $\theta$ ...
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1answer
356 views

Coupled Oscillators

This is an exercise of my last exam. Since I couldn't find anybody who solved it or knows how to, it would be really nice if somebody could tell me if my thoughts on it go into the right direction. ...
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2answers
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Hermite polynomials for expected value of harmonic oscillator

This was a problem on my final exam that has been really bugging me. Consider the quantum Harmonic oscillator prepared in an energy eigenstate, $\psi_n$(x). Calculate the expectation value of the ...
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1answer
264 views

Can soldiers marching at the right frequency realistically cause a bridge to break?

In my physics class it was suggested that ancient armies had a rough understanding of the idea of a resonant frequency and so they "broke step" when crossing bridges so as to avoid a very high $Q$. I ...
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Second Quantization - Texts

I am trying to familiarize myself with the ideas of Second Quantization. However, the literature that I can find online seems only to outline the tools of this formalism of quantum mechanics. There ...
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2answers
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Quantum Mechanics Basics: product space

Consider a coupled harmonic oscillator with their position given by $x_1$ and $x_2$. Say the normal coordinates $x_{\pm}={1\over\sqrt{2}} (x_1\pm x_2)$, in which the harmonic oscillators decouple, ...
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3answers
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Why doesn't mass of bob affect time period?

Please correct me if I'm going wrong - By the gravitation formula: $F = \frac{G m_1 m_2}{r^2} $, So if the mass of a bob is greater then the torque on it should increase because the Force increased ...
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2answers
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Energy transfer in a coupled pendulum

If you take a look at this video you will see what kind of a coupled pendulum I'm talking about. So I made a similar one in my high school's physics lab, using light metal bobs(much lighter than the ...
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1answer
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Organs & Oscillations: An Analysis on the Temperature Dynamics of Solids

Does temperature have an influence on the frequency of an oscillating organ pipe?
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Mass frequency problem

For Dispersion relation , according to Gaussian profile, the author in the equation 3 wrote as $\omega= \left(k^2+\omega_{mass}^2\right)^{1/2}$ My question is what is mass frequency and how it arose ...
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Periodic sequence with exponentially increasing period?

I have to develop a physical model for a certain type of biological oscillation that can be built upon periodic sequences. From earlier questions I know that any periodic sequence (containing $0$s ...