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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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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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 ...
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Using fluid mechanics to show that force is directly proportional to velocity

So I am writing a paper about viscous dampers in harmonic oscilators, however I was looking at some old fluid mechanic notes and I thought I had come across what I needed although I have gotten stuck. ...
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3D Quantum harmonic oscillator

For an isotropic 3D QHO in a potential $$V(x,y,z)={1\over 2}m\omega^2(x^2+y^2+z^2).$$ I can see by independence of the potential in the $x,y,z$ coordinates that the solution to the Schrodinger ...
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“Equidistant” spectra in quantum mechanics [duplicate]

In one-dimensional quantum mechanics, it seems that the only kind of potential able to produce an "equidistant" spectrum, i.e. with $E_{n+1}-E_{n}=\text{constant}$, is the harmonic oscillator. Why is ...
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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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Is it possible to derive the angular frequency of a simple harmonic oscillator using total energy?

I want to show that $$\omega=\sqrt{\frac{k}{m}}$$ using the fact that $$E=K+U=\frac{1}{2}mv_x^2+\frac{1}{2}kx^2=\frac{1}{2}kA^2.$$ The issue is that I have derived a formula that isn't ...
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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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28 views

Position, Velocity and Acceleration in a Forced Harmonic Oscillator [closed]

The problem is the following: An particle has a potential energy enough so that the 0.2Kg particle moves up 0.45m and has a displacement of 1.78m. The particle presents a period of 0.1242s, and is ...
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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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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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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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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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23 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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488 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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72 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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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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37 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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22 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
43 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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50 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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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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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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1answer
48 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
202 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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40 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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64 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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135 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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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
50 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
55 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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1answer
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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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1answer
54 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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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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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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166 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
76 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 ...