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)

0
votes
1answer
70 views

Why in analysis of coupled oscillator, restoring force for uncoupled condition is taken in account?

If the pendulums were free & either one were displaced a small distance $x$, the restoring force would be $m{\omega_0}^2 x$. But in the present situation the coupling spring is stretched a ...
2
votes
2answers
174 views

How to calculate the classical on-shell action for a harmonic oscillator? [closed]

So, short and sweet, I've been reading the path integrals book by Feynman and Hibbs, and one of the elementary problems they ask is to calculate the classical on-shell$^1$ action of a harmonic ...
0
votes
1answer
321 views

Checking that the propagator for Harmonic Oscillator satisfies Schroedinger Equation [closed]

I have the propagator for the harmonic oscillator. $$K(x_f,x_0,t)=\sqrt{\frac{m\omega}{2 \pi \hbar \sin{wt}}}\exp\left(\frac{i}{\hbar}\frac{m\omega}{2 \sin{\omega t}}((x_0^2+x_f^2)\cos\omega ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Equivalency of $Q$ Factor Definitions

The Q factor is defined (seemingly) as $$Q=2\pi\frac{\mathrm{energy \, \, stored}}{\mathrm{energy \, \,dissipated \, \, per \, \, cycle}}$$ however on Wikipedia is says that the Q factor can be ...
2
votes
2answers
331 views

Why does the Bohr-Sommerfeld quantization for give the exact energy-levels for a harmonic oscillator?

Why does the Bohr-Sommerfeld rule for quantization give the exact energy-levels for a simple harmonic oscillator?
1
vote
2answers
203 views

Oscillations Near Equilibrium (With Linear Differential Equations)

Case I: The force acting on an object of mass m is $F(x) = F_o(1-e^{\alpha x})$ Case II: The force acting on an object of mass m is $F(x) = F_o(1-e^{-\alpha x})$ where $F_o$ and $\alpha$ are ...
3
votes
3answers
242 views

Classical Limit of the Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

The classical harmonic oscillator obeys an arcsine law in that the distribution of positions of the particle over a single time cycle is proportional to $\frac{1}{\sqrt{A^2-x^2}}$, $A$ being the ...
0
votes
2answers
316 views

An interesting problem on springs [closed]

If I place two identical objects of mass $m$ at either end of a spring with spring constant $k$ and the whole system is placed on a horizontal frictionless surface, then what is the frequency of ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Very confused about effective spring constant

I know that for springs in parallel, the effective spring constant is $k_1+k_2$ and for springs in series the constant is $1/(1/k_1+1/k_2)$. But there are some weird problems where finding the ...
1
vote
1answer
298 views

Transition Probabilities for the Perturbed Harmonic Oscillator

I consider the following Hamiltonian $$H=\frac{p^2}{2m}+\frac{m\omega^2}{2}x^2+\Theta(t)Fx,$$ where $F$ is an external constant force. So the Hamiltonian describes an unperturbed harmonic oscillator ...
10
votes
3answers
218 views

limit as $x_1 \to x_0$, propagator for the harmonic oscillator

Consider a non-relativistic particle of mass $m$, moving along the $x$-axis in a potential $V(x) = m\omega^2x^2/2$. use path-integral methods to find the probability to find the particle between ...
1
vote
0answers
65 views

If $| \alpha(t) \rangle = e^{-i\omega t} |\alpha_0 \rangle$, then why is there time dependence in expected values?

The time evolution of a coherent state $| \alpha(t) \rangle$ is given by: $$| \alpha(t) \rangle = e^{-i\omega t} |\alpha_0 \rangle$$ So then it seems to me that it should be $$\langle \alpha(t)| = ...
0
votes
1answer
230 views

Problem regarding Archimedes Principle [closed]

A small amount of mercury is filled into massless cylindrical test tube with an even bottom and length $l=0,200m$. The test tube is put into a large swimming pool filled with water. a) How ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Period of oscillation with time independent factor

How can you determine the period of oscillation from a mass that is suspended from the ceiling? The equation becomes: ${{d^2x}\over dt^2}+kx-mg=0$. I am confused by the constant $mg$, because in the ...
0
votes
1answer
260 views

Difference between harmonic oscillator & coupled oscillators

Coupling, according to wiki, is the condition of two systems when they interact with each other. Now, I came across the terms harmonic oscillator and coupled oscillators. Now,what is the difference ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What will be the equation of motion of driven pendulum for amplitudes beyond the small angle approximation?

When finding the period of a pendulum beyond the small angle approximation, we have to use integration for small interval of $\theta$ and elliptical integration. I was trying to apply this situation ...
47
votes
5answers
6k views

Why is the harmonic oscillator so important?

I've been wondering what makes the harmonic oscillator such an important model. What I came up with: It is a (relatively) simple system, making it a perfect example for physics students to learn ...
1
vote
4answers
624 views

Spring stiffness calculation problems

I am trying to model a 1 DoF electromagnetic vibration sensor (geophone) analytically and with finite elements. A geophone consists of springs, a permanent magnet and coils. The coils are suspended ...
0
votes
0answers
194 views

Harmonic oscillator coherent state expected values

I'm looking to calculate the expected values of a coherent state (of a harmonic oscillator) evolving in time. I know that the $x$ and $p$ expectation values are as in classical motion, but I'm ...
1
vote
1answer
251 views

How to determine angular frequency of this system?

I am self studying on harmonic motion and springs. One of the problems is: Two identical objects of mass m are placed at either end of a spring of spring constant k and the whole system is placed on a ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

Does damping force affect period of oscillation?

In my physics notes, it has been given that the damping force increases the period of oscillation. I am unable to understand this part. How is this possible? The only relation I know is that as the ...
8
votes
3answers
706 views

Will a damped harmonic oscillator, with no initial amplitude, oscillate if there was background “noise”?

Suppose I have a damped harmonic oscillator which is at rest, sitting comfortably with no initial amplitude, obeying the equation $$\ddot{x} + \frac{1}{Q}\dot{x} + x = 0$$ where x is the vertical ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

What's the closed-form of the sum relating to the DOS of simple harmonic motion?

In order to calculate the density of states of single particle in the simple harmonic potential, we would calculate that $$ D(\epsilon)=\sum_{n}\delta(\epsilon-\epsilon_n) $$ where ...
1
vote
1answer
460 views

Why does $k/m=\omega^2$ for harmonic motion? [closed]

Can anyone please give me a proof for $k/m=w^2$ in simple harmonic motion? I have tried energy conservation and Newton's laws as follows : In the case of a mass-spring system, $$F=ma =-kx\\ F=ma = ...
0
votes
0answers
140 views

For a bob on a pendulum following simple harmonic motion, what causes the bob to accelerate towards the centre of equilibrium?

*The position of equilibrium being the position of the bob when the string is taut and vertically downwards. When I draw a simple diagram, I see that the tension of the string, which always acts ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Watertank waves

Say we have a rectangular tank of water and we push it lengthwise. Suppose the surface stays planar. What would be the trajectory of the centre of mass?
1
vote
2answers
285 views

Is it possible to write explicitly the exact solution for forced damped harmonic oscillator?

Preamble Consider a damped harmonic oscillator, with his well know differential equation \begin{equation*} m \ddot{x} + c \dot{x} + kx=0 \end{equation*} and let's find the solution that satisfies ...
1
vote
2answers
594 views

Number operator in quantum field theory?

The number operator, counting the number of quanta is defined as follows: $$ N = \int \frac{d^3 p}{(2\pi)^3} \hphantom{ii} a^{\dagger}_pa_p$$ with the momentum eigenstates being defined as $\lvert ...
3
votes
3answers
206 views

Quantum simple harmonic oscillator interpretation

I am just wondering what does the SHO system from quantum mechanics actually physically represent? Is it just a SHO of a quantum particle, seems a little too obvious for quantum theory? I'm from a ...
0
votes
2answers
139 views

Coupled oscillators and Normal Modes

Consider we have a system consisting of 2 arbitrary masses and 3 arbitrary springs connecting them horizontally and between fixed walls, and we want to obtain the motion of each mass after we input ...
4
votes
0answers
204 views

Cubic perturbation to coupled quantum harmonic oscillators

I recently came across this two-dimensional problem of a particle in a potential of the form $$V = \displaystyle{\frac{1}{2}m \omega^2} \big(y^2 + x^2y \big) - \alpha y,$$ where $x$ and $y$ are known ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

How can I prove this inequality for a harmonic oscillator?

I need a hand with this problem. I have to prove that for a particle in any quantum state in an harmonic potential $$ \langle X\rangle \leq2\Delta E\Delta P/(m \omega^2 \hslash) $$ Here's my ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Period of swinging incomplete hula-hoop

I was working on a problem where I had to calculate the period of a swinging incomplete hula-hoop given its center of mass and radius. It only swings with very small amplitude so I considered the ...
0
votes
2answers
130 views

How to check if a system is in SHM in two spring systems?

I must determine if the system (a) is in SHM. I must arrive to the conclusion that there is a linear restoring force such that $a=-w^2x$. The solution's manual affirms that according to Newton's ...
0
votes
1answer
296 views

How do I incorporate friction and mass when analyzing spring motion?

Problem 12 of section B of this PDF file reads Two springs with spring constant k1 and k2 are attached to a body of mass (m) in two different configurations in 2 cases (A and B) as shown. ...
2
votes
2answers
376 views

What are the forces acting on a Pendulum Tuned Mass Damper?

Upon researching tuned mass dampers, I came across this free body diagram of a pendulum tuned mass damper. However, I don't understand where many of the forces come from. What exactly are the forces ...
1
vote
2answers
492 views

Deriving the particular solution for a damped driven harmonic oscillator [closed]

Consider a damped driven harmonic oscillator, for which $\beta = \omega_0/4$ and the driving force is given by $F = F_0\cos\omega t$ ($\omega_0$ and $F_0$ represent initial condition of those ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Proving $[a_k^\dagger, a_q^\dagger]=0$

I am trying to prove the commutation relations between the creation and annihilation operators in field theory. I was already able to show that $[a_k, a_q^\dagger]=i\delta(k-q)$. I want to show that ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Energy in harmonic oscillator [closed]

The expectation value of the potential energy is exactly half the total according to Griffiths. Is that case always true for quantum harmonic oscillator? Is that the case also for classical harmonic ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Pendulum in Accelerating Elevator

I have been looking for this for quite some time now. A simple pendulum behaves in SHM. Let's put that pendulum in an upward accelerating elevator. The component of the force that acts in SHM ...
1
vote
1answer
505 views

Classical action of the simple harmonic oscillator

I have been calculating the classical action of the harmonic oscillator, the problem I have is that I am only able to solve it if I set the integration limits of the action integral to be $t=T$ and ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Definition of the $Q$ factor?

According to Wikipedia, the $Q$ factor is defined as: $$Q=2\pi\frac{\mathrm{energy \, \, stored}}{\mathrm{energy \, \,dissipated \, \, per \, \, cycle}}.$$ Here are my questions: Does the energy ...
2
votes
0answers
137 views

Question about massive spring and SHM [closed]

A mass $M$ is resting on the end of a spring with constant $K$. The mass of the spring is $m$, and the displacement of each element of the spring is proportional to the distance from the fixed end ...
0
votes
3answers
299 views

Pressure in Harmonic Oscillation

Classical Harmonic oscillator's energy depends on temperature as it equals $k_B$$T/2$. However, quantum harmonic oscillator energy is $(n+1/2)hf$. So, when T=0, quantum predicts motion. I have been ...
0
votes
3answers
131 views

Question about derivation of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?

I am looking at the derivation presented here. The first thing I am unsure about is where the form of $\psi_0=Ae^{\frac{-m\omega x^2}{2\hbar}}$ came from. Also, is this form for all $\psi$, or just ...
2
votes
2answers
317 views

Is uniform circular motion an SHM?

I know the projection along a diameter is an SHM but is circular motion itself an SHM? If we consider the mean position to be the center of the circle then the centripetal acceleration is proportional ...
0
votes
1answer
257 views

Can the matrix element of the momentum operator be found in the momentum basis?

In Shankar's Quantum Mechanics example 7.3.4, the problem is to find $\langle n'\rvert P\lvert n\rangle$ for the harmonic oscillator. The answer contains imaginary parts; you can derive such an answer ...
0
votes
1answer
173 views

determining phase constants in SHM [closed]

A particle moves along the x axis. It is initially at the position $x$ of $0.300 m$, moving with velocity $v$ of $0.070 m/s$ and acceleration $a$ of $-0.330 m/s^2$. Suppose it moves with constant ...
0
votes
2answers
270 views

Simple harmonic motion frequency [closed]

I already did part a and b by using kinematics but I'm stuck for the next part A particle moves along the x axis. It is initially at the position 0.300 m, moving with velocity $0.070 m/s$ and ...
0
votes
3answers
449 views

Why do non-circular oscillations have angular frequency? [duplicate]

Why so the oscillations which are not circular also have angular frequency which is a quantity related to the circular motion? I have referred many articles related to simple harmonic motion where ...