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)

2
votes
1answer
56 views

Quantum field theory: field operators in terms of creation/annihilation operators

I am learning Quantum Field Theory and there is a step in my notes that I do not really understand. It starts with the classical definitions of position $q$ and momentum $p$: $$ q = ...
2
votes
2answers
43 views

Can we represent Simple Harmonic function as triangular waves?

Having studied the topic recently I found out that simple harmonic motion can represented well with sine and cosine functions.Take for example a pendulum swing which could look like : and the ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Energy of damped harmonic oscillator begins to increase with very large Q in numerical integration

I have numerically integrated the (reduced) homogeneous equation of a damped harmonic oscillator in order to see how the error propagates. $$\frac{d^2 X}{d\phi^2} + ...
1
vote
2answers
111 views

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

The harmonic oscillator coupled to a sinodial external source $$\tfrac{\partial^2 x(t)}{\partial t^2}+\omega_0^2 x(t)=F_0\sin(\omega_\text{ext}\ t),$$ has the solution $$x(t)=x(0)\cos(\omega_0 t)+C ...
1
vote
1answer
18 views

Given the spring constant & maximum kinetic energy; length of spring extension? [closed]

I need to understand the following question before i right my exam tomorrow. A body attached to a spring with spring constant 100 N/m executes simple harmonic motion. The maximum kinetiv energy of ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

How can I derive the Hamiltonian of simple harmonic oscillator from this Lagrangian?

I'm working through Leonard Susskind's Theoretical Minimum: Classical Mechanics and I can't seem to understand how the Hamiltonian of a simple harmonic oscillator is derived from the following ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Eigenstates of a density matrix of continuous variables

Consider a system of two entangled harmonic oscillators. The normalised ground state is denoted by $\psi_0(x_1,x_2)$. The reduced density matrix of the second oscillator is given by: $$\rho_2 = ...
3
votes
1answer
104 views

Why is $\omega = \sqrt{K/m}$ valid for a quantum oscillator?

I'm working in the 3rd edition of Modern Physics by Serway, Moses, and Moyer. In 6.6, it talks about a quantum oscillator. I don't fully understand how the definition of frequency works. Now, we ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Rational ratio of frequencies leads to isolating integral of motion

Padmanabhan's discussion of dynamics mentions that in general the two dimensional harmonic oscillator fills the surface of a two torus. He further notes that there will be an extra isolating integral ...
1
vote
2answers
648 views

Inverted Harmonic oscillator

what are the energies of the inverted Harmonic oscillator? $$ H=p^{2}-\omega^{2}x^{2} $$ since the eigenfunctions of this operator do not belong to any $ L^{2}(R)$ space I believe that the spectrum ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

Eigenstates of a shifted harmonic oscillator

Let's say I have a quantum harmonic oscillator $H = \omega a^\dagger a$, where $a^\dagger$ is the raising operator and $a$ is the lowering operator and $H |n\rangle = \omega n |n\rangle$. Now assume ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Derivation of $a_{j}$ coefficients in the quantum harmonic oscillator

In Griffiths' book page 53, when we derive the solution of the quantum harmonic oscillator by using the power series way, we have: $$a_{j+2} = \frac{2j+1-K}{(j+1)(j+2)}\, a_{j} .$$ And for large $j$, ...
1
vote
2answers
378 views

Vibration of pulley and string system

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

Deriving spring oscilation period [duplicate]

We have a spring attached to a wall and at the other part an object on a frictionless surface. I tried to calculate the spring oscilation period. I used the conservation of energy and kinematics ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Questions related to resonance/standing-waves and sound

I understand resonance for a simple harmonic oscillator but not for more complex systems like standing waves. How can I be in resonance with the normal mode in an organ pipe? I understand that the ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Kinetic energy and potential energy variation over distance in SHM

When you compute the average potential energy of a horizontal spring mass system from the mean position to the positive amplitude A, the value comes out to be $\frac{1}{6}kA^2$. For the average ...
1
vote
0answers
821 views

Damping and stiffness constants of water

I'm working on a simulation of water drops falling into a pool. I'm specifically interested in the waves generated by the impact of the drops. In order to calculate the vertical motion of the waves, I ...
1
vote
2answers
70 views

Phase space derivation of quantum harmonic oscillator partition function

I would like to derive the partition function for the quantum Harmonic oscillator from scratch: $$\tag{1} Z = \int dp \, dx\, e^{-\beta H}.$$ The free particle appears in many textbooks. $H = ...
7
votes
2answers
90 views

Dilation operator in CFT viewed as 'hamiltonian'?

From the commutation relations for the conformal Lie algebra, we may infer that the dilation operator plays the same role as the Hamiltonian in CFTs. The appropriate commutation relations are ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Angular momentum for 3D harmonic oscillator in two different bases

I know that the energy eigenstates of the 3D quantum harmonic oscillator can be characterized by three quantum numbers: $$ | n_1,n_2,n_3\rangle$$ or, if solved in the spherical coordinate system: ...
3
votes
1answer
655 views

Pendulum in an elevator

Suppose we have a pendulum tied to the ceiling of an elevator which is at rest. The pendulum is oscillating with a time period $T$, and it has an angular amplitude, say $\beta$. Now at some time ...
8
votes
3answers
244 views

In what sense is a quantum field an infinite set of harmonic oscillators?

In what sense is a quantum field an infinite set of harmonic oscillators, one at each space-time point? When is it useful to think of a quantum field this way? The book I'm reading now, QFT by ...
0
votes
2answers
497 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
115 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
154 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
499 views

How can I show that an arbitrary wavefunction in a 1D SHO is periodic in time?

I want to show that an arbitrary wavefunction $f$ in a one dimensional harmonic potential reproduces itself after a period T up to a phase factor: $f(x,t+T)=Af(x,t)$, $|A|=1$ I am not sure if this ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Finding the minimum radius of the pivoted disc

Here is a question based on Simple Harmonic Motion that I tackled just now. However I think I am having an approach to tackle this but I am not sure about it. Ouestion: A uniform disc of radius ...
3
votes
0answers
174 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
57 views

Finding the total space that an oscillating body has gone through via complex analysis

I was solving my homework and I got to an exercise that stated: An harmonic oscillating body has an equation of $$y(t) = A \sin(t)$$ Find the total space that the body has travelled during $t \in ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

How can one calculate the phase difference between two quantum harmonic oscillator (Hermite-Gauss) states?

The analytic solutions of a quantum harmonic oscillator are given by Hermite-Gauss states, which differ in the order $n$ of the Hermite polynomials. If two such states are plotted, there will be a ...
1
vote
2answers
45 views

Help explain how direction change relates to acceleration [duplicate]

I was doing some simple harmonic motion problems and I came across this picture describing the position, velocity and acceleration of a linear oscillator. At the moment in time when v is 0 the ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

What is the relationship between Q-Factor and viscosity for a Newtonian fluid based damper?

I am working with a rotary damper (paddle hanging off a shaft attached to the bottom of a rotary table and into a vat of fluid). I know the viscosity of the current Newtonian fluid, I know the flow is ...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

Why isn't a pendulum clock considered a perpetual machine?

Why do people say that a perpetual machine is one that runs for eternity? Wouldn't a machine that runs taking no energy from outside but sometimes needs to be restarted, such as pendulum clock, be ...
2
votes
0answers
35 views

WKB approximation in two dimensions

Does anybody know how to implement the WKB approximation for the two-dimensional Schrodinger equation with a harmonic oscillator potential: $\frac{1}{2}\Biggl[-\biggl(\frac{\partial^2}{\partial ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Concrete example of a two-dimensional harmonic oscillator

I am a student of mathematics and some time ago I showed in general that for a two-dimensional harmonic oscillator one can apply the recurrence theorem. So far so good.. now I would like to have a ...
0
votes
2answers
170 views

Resonance and a tuning fork

I carried out this experiment in class: I struck a tuning fork with a hammer. The sound lasted for some time. However, when I connected the tuning fork onto a wooden sounding box, the sound lasted ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Nuclear Physics: Eigenvalues of nucleus angular moment

In the shell model of nuclei, when we talk about collective motions, we describe any nucleus deformation, expanding its radius on spherical harmonics base like this $R(\theta,\phi) = ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

How can I find the motion equations of the 2-dim harmonic oscillator?

First of all: I am no physicist, so I am rather helpless. I need to find the moving equations of the 2-dim. harmonic oscillator. If it is possible it should be rather elementary, because, as I said, ...
0
votes
0answers
64 views

Calculation of energy eigenvalues of $\hat{x}^4$

I would appreciate help in calculating the energy eigenvalues associated with $\hat{x}^4$, with $\hat{x}$ expressed using the ladder operators for harmonic oscillators. $\hat{x} = ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Nodes in wave functions outside of the classical turning point

When looking at the solutions of the classical harmonic oscillator for instance from wikipedia one can observe that there are no nodes in the wavefunction outside the classical turning points. But I ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

quick question about degeneracy

For two non-interacting particles, with eigenfunctions $\phi_{n1}(x1)$ and $\phi_{n2}(x2)$ in a one-dimensional potential well $V_{(x)}$ with n = 1,2,.... Consider two spinless non-identical ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

What happens between two harmonics?

I know that standing waves in a simple harmonic system occur when the "echo" of a wave overlaps completely with the original wave at a certain point in time, doubling the amplitude. And then, because ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Does the average momentum vanish for an eigenstate of the simple harmonic oscillator?

Suppose we have a simple harmonic oscillator, let's consider the ground state, $|0\rangle$ and the first excited state $|1\rangle$. $\langle 0|\hat p|0 \rangle$ is zero right? Since the particle can ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Hamiltonian Operator for Harmonic Oscillator

I have been solving the harmonic oscillator problem in quantum mechanics using Algebraic Method and since then I am consulting the books of Tannoudji and Griffiths for that matter. While studying both ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How to determine viscous dampening coefficient of spring?

I'm trying to determine the viscous dampening coefficient of a spring $c$. Read about it on Wikipedia here. The two equations which I have are: $f=-cv$ and $ma+cv = -kx$ I know the spring constant ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Ladder operator on momentum basis

Since in Quantum mechanics momentum operator can be written in terms of ladder operators $$\widehat{p}=-i\sqrt\frac{{\hbar m \omega}}{2}(\widehat{a}-\widehat{a}^\dagger)$$ these operators operate on ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

Quantum oscillator, position mean value problem

A quantum harmonic oscillator of mass $m$ and frequency $\omega$ is at time $t=0$ in the state: $$ \left|\psi(t)\right> = \sum_{n=N-\Delta N}^{N+\Delta N}\left|n\right>\frac{1}{\sqrt{2\Delta N ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

Meaning of “Simple” in Simple Pendulum and Simple Harmonic Motion?

I have gone through the Phys.SE question Why is simple harmonic motion called so?. From the 1st answer of this Question it seems to me that another type of "Harmonic motion" is "Damped Harmonic ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

solution of pendulum equation [closed]

I have the pendulum expression $$\ddot{\theta}+\omega_{o}^{2}\sin(\theta)=0,$$ where I used a Taylor expansion for the sine term: ...
5
votes
2answers
201 views

Forced harmonic oscillator with two springs

Consider a vertical system of two springs in series, with a mass(50 g) between them. From below the system is driven by a vibration generator. The setup is shown here, but the picture is taken while ...