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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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299 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 $\phi=\int dp^3\frac{1}{(2\pi)^3}\frac{1}{\sqrt{2\omega_p}}(a_p e^{ipx}+a^\dagger e^{-ipx})$, ...
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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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250 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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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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246 views

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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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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261 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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273 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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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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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 ...
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332 views

How to think of the harmonic oscillator equation in terms of “acceleration = gradient”

This is related to another question I just asked where I learned that the equation of motion of a harmonic oscillator is expressed as: $$\ddot{x}+kx=0$$ What little physics I grasp centers on ...
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Question on Sakurai's treatment of the Harmonic Oscillator:

In Section 2.3 of the second edition of Modern Quantum Mechanics (which discusses the harmonic oscillator), Sakurai derives the relation $$Na\left|n\right> = (n-1)a\left|n\right>,$$ and states ...
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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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Symbol for dashpot/damper (in a harmonic oscillator)

In diagrams that contain the dashpot symbol, sometimes the mass is attached to the "interior" end of the dashpot, other times the mass is attached to the "base" end. For example, consider the ...
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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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Exact energies of spherical harmonic oscillator in Dirac equation

The potential is given by: $$ V(r) = {1\over 2} \omega^2 r^2 $$ and we are solving the radial Dirac equation (in atomic units): $$ c{d P(r)\over d r} + c {\kappa\over r} P(r) + Q(r) (V(r)-2mc^2) = E ...
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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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Why are the solution coefficients for a harmonic oscillator proportional to minors of the determinant?

I'm studying the oscillations of systems with more than one degree of freedom from Landau & Lifshitz's Mechanics Third Edition (for those who have the book, my question corresponds roughly to ...
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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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What's wrong with this equation for harmonic oscillation?

The question: A particle moving along the x axis in simple harmonic motion starts from its equilibrium position, the origin, at t = 0 and moves to the right. The amplitude of its motion is ...
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Proof that the One-Dimensional Simple Harmonic Oscillator is Non-Degenerate?

The standard treatment of the one-dimensional quantum simple harmonic oscillator (SHO) using the raising and lowering operators arrives at the countable basis of eigenstates $\{\vert n \rangle\}_{n = ...
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Is the quantization of the harmonic oscillator unique?

To put it a little better: Is there more than one quantum system, which ends up in the classical harmonic oscillator in the classial limit? I'm specifically, but not only, interested in an ...
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Conversion of motion equation from Cartesian to Polar coordinates: Is covariant differentiation necessary?

I have earlier posted the same question here on math stackexchange but without any answer. As the question concerns tensors, I guess that I have come to the right ...
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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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Why are overtones forbidden within the harmonic approximation?

In vibrational spectroscopy only transitions between neighboring vibrational states ($\Delta \nu = \pm 1$, $\nu$ being the vibrational quantum number) are allowed within the harmonic approximation. ...
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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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Finding Phase angle of Simple Harmonic Motion?

A sinusoidal oscillator has : $$x=x_{max} \cos(\omega t - \varphi )$$ Period is 2, initial displacement is 100mm initial velocity is 200mm/s What is the phase angle assuming $-\pi < \varphi < ...
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Vibrational motion of linear diatomic molecule

This question concerns the following exercise from an old exam: The vibrational motion of a linear diatomic molecule can be approximated as simple harmonic motion. A CO molecule has a bond ...
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Solutions of damped oscillator differential equation

I am reading about damped harmonic motion in my Physics book (Gerthsen Physik) and there are two things that irritate me: Stokes friction It says that Stokes friction would be $$F = -m \gamma ...
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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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Simple Harmonic Motion. Why am I wrong? Why is my equation wrong more importantly?

Problem/Solution ! I am deeply confused. B) We know that $x = 2\sin(3\pi t)$. $x' = 6\pi\cos(3\pi t)$ So max speed is $6\pi$ $6\pi = 6\pi \cos(3\pi t)$ $\cos(3\pi t) = 1$ $3\pi t = ...
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Why is the angle of a pendulum as a function of time a sine wave?

OK so I'm trying to understand why the angle of a pendulum as a function of time is a sine wave. I can't really find an explanation online and when I do find something partial there are certain ...
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Finding coefficient of proportionality

Recently in my AP Physics class I did a lab in which I measured k for a spring by setting up an oscillating system with it, and timing the period, repeating for different masses. Since ...