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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Finding the motion of an object on a spring given its mass and displacement [on hold]

A mass of $500gm$ is suspended from the ceiling by a frictionless spring, it stretches the spring $50cm$ before getting to its equilibrium position, where the mass pulling down is balanced exactly by ...
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54 views

amplitude of two carts attached by a spring [on hold]

The problem statement: All variables and given/known data [Coupled Oscillators] A cart of mass $m$ (car #1) and another cart of mass $2m$ (car #2) on a horizontal surface are connected by an ideal ...
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135 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 ...
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30 views

Using creation and annihilation operators to prove the expression for the $n$th excited state in terms of the vacuum state

How does one prove that the $n^{th}$ excited state of a quantum harmonic oscillator (QHO) can be obtained by applying the creation operator $a^{\dagger}$ $n$-times to the vacuum state $\vert ...
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70 views

Has anyone published the procedure to generalize ladder operators for any potential in Schrodinger's equation?

I know that the ladder operator for the quantum harmonic oscillator \begin{align} H\psi_m = \left(\dfrac{p^2}{2m}+\dfrac{1}{2}m\omega^2x^2\right)\psi_m=E_m\psi_m \end{align} is \begin{align} A = ...
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32 views

Can an object experience torque when the only applied external force is at its axis of rotation (IOW, where $F \times r = 0$)?

This question came up because of this diagram that I saw in my textbook of an angular simple harmonic oscillator. I've always struggled a bit with torque and rotational dynamics in general, and I ...
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22 views

Reflection of Sound wave (Pressure Wave)

I want to study about the phenomenon of reflection of pressure waves as in an open ended organ pipe. Please suggest a suitable resource? I know about the harmonics in a stretched string and I can use ...
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2answers
478 views

Is the usually taught solution to forced harmonic motion just a special solution?

Let's say we have a mass on a spring being driven by a forcing function. Given hook's law, $F = -kx$, and a forcing function of $$F(t) = F_0\sin(\omega t) .$$ We can write: $$ m\frac{d^2x}{dt^2} = ...
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61 views

Finding time period of oscillations in a multiple spring system attached to a solid cylinder [closed]

A solid cylinder of mass $m$ and radius $R$ is kept in equilibrium on horizontal rough surface. Three unstretched springs of spring constant $k$, $2k$, $3k$ are attached to cylinder as shown in the ...
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1k views

Effective mass in Spring-with-mass/mass system

Suppose you have a particle of mass $m$ fixed to a spring of mass $m_0$ that, in turn, is fixed to some wall. I'm trying to calculate the effective mass $m'$ that appears in the law of motion of the ...
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1answer
34 views

Problem about a spring which oscillates due to a external force [closed]

A person holds a spring of stiffness $k= 80$ N/m by its extremity A; In the other end there is a mass of $0.5$ kg. The spring is initially at equilibrium, when the person starts to shake the ...
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42 views

discrepancy in theoretical and natural frequency?

In an experiment to determine the natural frequency of a spring-mass-pulley system, why would the experimental natural frequency (found using 1/time) be greater than the theoretical natural frequency ...
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1answer
16 views

Can the logarithmic decrement be found from extension of spring?

Consider a spring-mass system in which a mass hangs freely from a spring fixed to a ceiling. Can the logarithmic decrement be found simply from the extension of the spring? The only parameters known ...
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1answer
5k views

Evolution operator for time-dependent Hamiltonian

When I studied QM I'm only working with time independent Hamiltonians. In this case the unitary evolution operator has the form $$\hat{U}=e^{-\frac{i}{\hbar}Ht}$$ that follows from this equation $$ ...
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1answer
62 views

Meaning of “vacuum state”?

I just learned about $|0\rangle$ and siblings $|0_\gamma\rangle$ and $|0_\infty\rangle$ while studying coherent and squeezed states in a QM class, and I have a question about the meaning of ...
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18 views

Effect on Q factor and resonant frequency when scaling down a damped oscillator to micro / nano scales

I've always just accepted that as you scale down a mechanical system the frequency and Q factor both increase. But how exactly do they scale? Linearly? With the square of reduction in size? Or maybe ...
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2answers
31 views

Acceleration of Simple pendulum [closed]

A simple pendulum starts its motion from one extreme when it left at extreme it starts its motion towards the extreme and its velocity become increase and become maximum at mean position and also ...
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122 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 ...
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28 views

Quantum harmonic ocillator and the mean energy U(T)

The energy of a quantum harmonic oscillator is given by: $$E(n)=\hbar\omega\left(n+\frac{1}{2}\right)$$ The canonical partition function is given by: $$Z(T)=\sum_{n=o}^\infty e^{-\beta ...
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1answer
118 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 ...
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2answers
36 views

How to calculate the resultant movement of a superposition of harmonic oscillators?

If $x_{1}(t) = \cos(\omega t - \frac{\pi}{6})$ and $x_{2}(t) = \sin(\omega t)$ are two simple harmonic oscillators in the same direction and with the same angular frequency $\omega$, how to ...
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1answer
20 views

Mass-Spring system on an accelerating jet

Imagine a perfect mass spring system. If it's put on an accelerating plane, how will the motion change? Is the plane's acceleration like a driving/damping force, where: $$F_{\text{driving}} = ...
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1answer
41 views

Amplitude-Frequency curve

Given a resonance curve just like this: Could someone explain to me what the physical meaning of the intersection with the ordinate is? At first glance I would say it has to be $(0 | 0) $ since ...
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1answer
101 views

Spring Stiffness Calculation Problems

This may sound like a trivial question but please hear me out. I am trying to model a 1 DoF electromagnetic vibration sensor (geophone) analytically and with finite elements. A geophone consists of ...
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1answer
46 views

Two masses on a frictionless surface connected with a spring

I have a problem with an assignment with two masses on a frictionless plane connected with a spring. Both masses are 1 kg, and the distance between them (the length of the spring) is 0.4 m. The ...
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2answers
57 views

Can a body execute two Simple Harmonic Motions instantaneously?

If we use a helical spring instead of string in a simple pendulum then will the body execute two simple harmonic motions simultaneously? Like up-down motion of spring and to and fro motion of simple ...
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1answer
49 views

The universality of the Stuart-Landau equation to describe nonlinear oscillators

I have read numerous papers which boldly suggest that the Stuart-Landau equation can be successfully used to model any weakly nonlinear oscillating system near a Hopf bifurcation. Even thought it has ...
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2answers
981 views

Coupled quantum harmonic oscillator

Given the following Hamiltonian for two identical linear oscillators with spring constant $k$ and interaction potential $\alpha x_1x_2$; I was asked to find the expectation value $\langle ...
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1answer
45 views

Derive Equation For a Cantilever in SHM

I am currently investigating how a hacksaw blade's time period of oscillation changes when I add mass to the end of it or when I change the length it is clamped at. I found the following equation ...
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1answer
197 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 ...
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1answer
38 views

Average Energy of a coherent state

The question is relating to a previous problem concerning the harmonic oscillator. Determine the average energy < E > in a coherent state |alpha>. From my understanding the expectation of the ...
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58 views

How to determinate the minimum period of oscillation for a physical pendulum? [closed]

A physical pendulum consists of a thin homogeneous rod of length $l$, suspended by a point $O$ at a distance $x$ from the center of gravity ($x<\frac{l}{2}$), oscillating in a vertical plane. ...
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115 views

Please explain the following graphs that describe a quantum mechanical harmonic oscillator

Graphs such as the above keep coming up when talking about harmonic oscillators in a quantum mechanical sense. However, I simply cannot make sense of them. What does each line represent why are they ...
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Forces acting on an SHM

I would like to know the forces acting on an SHM, and how they effect the motion. For example, take the motion of a simple pendulum as in the given image. Which are the forces acting on this motion? ...
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221 views

Why is $\pi$ used when calculating the value of $g$ in pendulum motion?

I am trying to intuitively understand why $\pi$ is used when calculating the value of $g$ using the harmonic motion of a pendulum: $$g ~=~\frac{4\pi^2L}{T^2}.$$ Does it have something to do with the ...
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1answer
43 views

What is the relationship between harmonic motion and the harmonics of a wave?

I learned about harmonic motion and harmonic oscillators a long time ago in physics, but I can't remember what the relationship between that and and the definition of harmonic in a wave. A harmonic ...
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1answer
54 views

Computing $\langle0|T[Q(t_2)Q(t_1)]|0\rangle$

Given Hamiltonian $H=\frac{P^2}{2}+\frac{\omega^2}{2}Q^2$, compute $\langle0|T[Q(t_2)Q(t_1)]|0\rangle$, where $T$ is the time-ordering of the product, $|0\rangle$ is the ground state. Now set ...
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Is there a curve for which a particle restricted to move within it under the gravitational force will always exhibit a pure harmonic motion?

A simple pendulum, for example, is not isochronous for large amplitudes (that is, the frequency will depend on the amplitude). So a particle confined in a circumference will not always exhibit a ...
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49 views

A problem about harmonic oscillators

A ball with mass $m$ and radius $r$ rolls without sliding inside a cylinder with radius $R (R>>r)$, with $\theta <<1$. Find the angular frequency $\omega$ What I Know: There are ...
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Reflected and refracted light have same frequency as that of the incident light frequency. Why?

My text book says- When a monochromatic light is incident on a surface separating two media, the refracted and reflected light both have the same frequency as the incident frequency. Can anyone ...
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Help understanding what the Hamiltonian signifies for the action compared with the Euler-Lagrange equations for the Lagrangian?

Consider the Lagrangian for a simple harmonic oscillator \begin{equation} L (x,\dot{x}) = \frac{1}{2}m\dot{x}^2 - \frac{1}{2}kx^2 \end{equation} Obviously we have \begin{align} \frac{\partial ...
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1answer
346 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 ...
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44 views

Uncertainty of energy for harmonic oscillator at ground state and first excited state

How does one calculate the energy uncertainty of the harmonic oscillator in the ground state and first excited state?
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164 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 ...
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2answers
71 views

How to analyse this mass-spring system

I'm trying to analyze this mass-spring system -- i.e. write down the differential equation governing it. As you can see, there is a block of mass $m_1$ attached to a wall by an ideal spring of ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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Does this massless spring affect the system?

I have to write out the differential equation modelling this system: There's a mass connected to a wall with a spring of spring constant $k_1$, sitting on a frictionless surface, with another spring ...
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1answer
52 views

How is a string different from a harmonic oscillator or a point?

I am reading String Theory and M-Theory: A Modern Introduction by Becker, Becker and Schwartz. I've tried to read this book before but not succeeded because I didn't know enough math or physics. This ...
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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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60 views

Energy drain in damped oscillator

Suppose we have a mass on a spring with a damping term. The equation of motion is given by: $$m \ddot{x} = -kx - c\dot{x}$$ I believe solutions are damped oscillations of the form: $$x = x_0 ...