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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Constant of motion

An exercise from Goldstein (9.31-3rd Ed) asks to show that for a one-dimensional harmonic oscillator $u(q,p,t)$ is a constant of motion where $$ u(q,p,t)=\ln(p+im\omega q)-i\omega t $$ and ...
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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 ...
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Change of variable in harmonic oscillator time independent Schrodinger equation

I was revising the harmonic oscillator for my intro to quantum course and realised I'd sort of accepted a change of variable result without actually being able to get to it. It says: The stationary ...
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Solving oscillation-related problems using energy [on hold]

I am very much interested in how exactly can one solve harmonic oscillation-problems using solely the KE - PE approach. I am a high-school student, so a little in-depth explanation will very much be ...
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55 views

How to model “Doppler Distortion” of speakers?

Simple Model w/o Doppler I have a speaker driven by an electrical signal. The pressure at the sampling point is some linear operator acting on the input signal: $L[ s(t)]$. Where $L$ combines the ...
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Different hamiltonians for quantum harmonic oscillator?

The Hamiltonian for a classical simple harmonic oscillator is $$ H = \frac{p^2}{2m} + \frac{1}{2}m\omega^2x^2$$ With the usual choice of the ladder operators $$a = ...
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Relation between shm and circular motion

I recently read in a book that combination of two simple harmonic motions of equal amplitude in perpendicular directions differing in phase by pi/2 is circular motion. I don't seem to understand this ...
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101 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 ...
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376 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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93 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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66 views

Question on Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

My textbook claims that the uncertainty in position of the particle in a quantum harmonic oscillator is $\frac{A}{\sqrt{2}}$ and the uncertainty in the particle momentum is $\frac{p}{\sqrt{2}}$ ...
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58 views

Normalisation of Linear Harmonic Oscillator - Ladder Operator Method

I was watching the following video on the harmonic oscillator using ladder operators : http://youtu.be/gRdCV9p8sAU?t=30m9s Clicking on the video above will take you to the exact point where my ...
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Mean energy harmonic oscillator

I know that for a particle under the potential $$V(x,y,z)=\frac{k}{2}(x^2+y^2+z^2)$$ the equipartition theorem says that it contributes to the mean energy to $\frac{3k_BT}{2} $ (one half for each ...
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81 views

Quantum Mechanics: Momentum operator questions [closed]

I'm asked to determine $\hat{P}|\Psi_0\rangle$, $\langle{\hat{P}}\rangle$, and $\langle\hat{P}^2\rangle$ for $$\Psi_0(u) = \psi_0 + 2\psi_1$$ I understand how to make the matrix for $P$ in regards ...
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56 views

Is this oscillator driven?

A mass $m$ is attached to a vertical massless spring or a spring constant $k$. Originally, the spring was relaxed because the mass was held by a clip. Suddenly the clip was released. THe mass ...
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65 views

Faster than critical damping for harmonic oscillator?

The image below shows damping for spring oscillator with Hooke law F=-kx and damped with F=-cv where: k is spring constant x is oscillator position c is damping coefficient v is velocity of oscillator ...
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29 views

A block falling from a height on a block suspended by spring [closed]

The block suspended by the spring is hanging freely and its mass is M. The small block of mass m is dropped on the bigger block from height h. After the small block is dropped 》》》 I want help in ...
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82 views

Correlation Function of ground state; Physical Meaning

I was asked to find the correlation function of the ground state of the QHM: $$\langle0|\hat x(t)\hat x(t-\tau)|0\rangle$$ I found that this evaluated to $\frac{\hbar}{2m\omega}e^{i\omega \tau}$. I ...
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128 views

Difference between the two equations for acceleration

I came upon this while studying S.H.M. Well,is there a difference between writing $$a=\frac{dv}{dt}\;$$ and $$a=v\frac{dv}{dx}\;$$ do they differ on the basis of one being a vector and the other ...
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55 views

Why the distance between peaks of the probability distribution function decreases when n increases?

In the solution of Schrödinger Equation for harmonic oscillator why the distance between peaks of the probability distribution function decreases when n increases? Is there a good reason for it or is ...
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1k views

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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335 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 ...
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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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149 views

Harmonic Oscillator potential, proof that Gaussians remain Gaussians?

I read in several papers that for a Harmonic Oscillator Hamiltonian in the time dependent Schrödinger equation a Gaussian wave packet remains Gaussian. Unfortunately I could not find any proof for ...
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Is it possible to find a “replacement pendulum” for a system of two equal but perpendicular pendulums?

I ask this question, because at the end of this long day I'm just too dazed to derive the proofs myself (even though I know that I should feel ashamed for this). So, the question: Given two ...
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75 views

Phase Plot for Harmonic Oscillator

This is probably gonna be a dumb question but I don't know exactly where I am making the mistake. I have been taught in highschool that simple harmonic oscillator phase plot is the $sin(\omega t)$: ...
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Heisenberg picture usage - Merzbacher 14.106

I am trying to understand a line in the quantum mechanics book by Merzbacher, specifically the second line of equation 14.106. The problem is a forced quantum harmonic oscillator. The Hamiltonian ...
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357 views

Simple harmonic oscillator system and changes in its total energy

Suppose I have a body of mass $M$ connected to a spring (which is connected to a vertical wall) with a stiffness coefficient of $k$ on some frictionless surface. The body oscillates from point $C$ to ...
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52 views

Interesting Harmonic Oscillator Solution

On page 89 of Griffith's QM book, an exact solution to the time-dependent SE equation for the harmonic oscillator is mentioned: $$ ...
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340 views

Why not drop $\hbar\omega/2$ from the quantum harmonic oscillator energy?

Since energy can always be shifted by a constant value without changing anything, why do books on quantum mechanics bother carrying the term $\hbar\omega/2$ around? To be precise, why do we write $H ...
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82 views

Harmonic Oscillator driven by a Dirac delta-like force

Consider that there is no damping for simplicity. As we know, a driving force of the form $\sin(\omega t)$ will make the oscillator at steady state vibrates at the external frequency $\omega$. What ...
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Is strictly harmonic 2D lattice made of Hooke springs possible?

If we connect a set of point masses in a 1D lattice with Hooke springs and consider longitudinal oscillations, we'll have a strictly harmonic system, for which there exist eigenmodes and the frequency ...
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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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166 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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111 views

Double-spring mass system

We just had a lesson about elementary mass-spring systems (SHO), and I thought about a horizontal situation with two springs with the test mass oscillating in between. If we are to manually stretch ...
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Why does $x(0)=0$ for SHO in classical action

In leveraging this PDF to help solve the integral for $S_{cl}$ least action for a Simple harmonic oscillator, I read that I can assume $x_{cl}(0) = 0$ for the classical solution. Why is $x_{cl}(0) ...
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Are Black Holes set to take over the Harmonic Oscillator in the 21st century?

A few years ago I attended a talk given by Andy Strominger entitled Black Holes- The Harmonic Oscillators of the 21st Century. This talk, ...
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Showing $K_\pm$ are raising/lowering operators

In this post, I have the following operators defined: $$K_1=\frac 14(p^2-q^2)$$ $$K_2=\frac 14 (pq+qp)$$ $$J_3 = \frac 14 (p^2+q^2)$$ I am given $ J_3|m\rangle = m|m\rangle$ and asked to show that ...
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How to find zero-point oscillations for this system?

Consider the following Hamiltonian which is absolutely relativistic literally: only sensitive to absolute pairwise relative phase space variables of objects for a system of $N$ objects moving in one ...
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Pendulums on a moving pedestal

Assume we have a frictionless pendulum of length $l$ with mass $m$. This pendulum hangs from some weightless contraption, which is itself bolted to a platform. This platform can move horizontally in ...
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How to include Damping in a Simple harmonic oscillator

Im designing a model for Kelvin Method. Some of my calculation results are as follows: Radius of the membrane : 50 micron thickness of the membrane : 3.25 micron resonate frequency : 1.32MHz ...
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216 views

Is it only the ground state of the quantum harmonic oscillator that has the minimum uncertainty product?

We know that the uncertainty product of general states is bounded by the inequality described by Heisenberg's uncertainty relation. And the ground state of the quantum harmonic oscillator falls under ...
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Oscillator, angular frequency equation

I found the highlighted equation on the Wikipedia on angular frequency, however it doesn't say how it was obtained, could someone please explain that? Also, it says that the spring is massless, if ...
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Harmonic Oscillator - Energy quantisation

The one-dimensional quantum HO can be solved in Schrodinger representation by getting Hermite Differential Equation $$ \frac{d^2y}{dx^2} - 2x \frac{dy}{dx} + \lambda y = 0 $$ with solutions $$ y(x) = ...
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200 views

Simple Harmonic Motion Question - Block on Platform [closed]

A platform is executing SHM in a vertical direction with an amplitude of $5$ cm and a frequency of $\frac{10}{\pi}$ vibrations per second. A block is placed on the platform at the lowest point of its ...
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158 views

Can a mass matrix be asymmetric?

I am developing a mathematical model of a mechanical device consisting basically of coupled harmonic oscillators. It turns out that the system mass matrix is asymmetric. I seem to read somewhere that ...
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126 views

Wave Function for a Sinusoidal Wave (Why minus sign?)

I was trying to understand how the wave function for a sinusoidal wave was derived, but did not understand one specific sign, the minus sign in the following formula: $$y(x,t) = A \sin(k x – \omega t ...
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239 views

Compound pendulum clarification?

I read in a book the following about compound pendulum and small displacements: There are two points only for which the time period is minimum. there are maximum 4 points for which the time ...
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Why do electromagnetic waves oscillate?

I've been considering this question, and found many people asking the same (or something similar) online, but none of the answers seemed to address the core point or at least I wasn't able to make ...
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Using $\sin()$ or $\cos()$ for computing SHM?

In simple harmonic motion, you can use either the sin or cos form of the equation but my question is which one do you use when and why? I am having a tough time understanding this, so any help would ...