What is Quantum harmonic oscillator: Definition and 108 Discussions

The quantum harmonic oscillator is the quantum-mechanical analog of the classical harmonic oscillator. Because an arbitrary smooth potential can usually be approximated as a harmonic potential at the vicinity of a stable equilibrium point, it is one of the most important model systems in quantum mechanics. Furthermore, it is one of the few quantum-mechanical systems for which an exact, analytical solution is known.

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  1. Gabri110

    Difference between expectation value of ##x## and classical amplitude of oscillation for an harmonic oscillator

    Using the ladder operators I can easily compute ##E = \langle H\rangle = \hbar \omega n##, so I can find the amplitude of the classical oscillator, as ##E = \frac{1}{2} m \omega^2 x_{max}^2##, thus, ##x_{max} = \sqrt{\dfrac{2 E}{m \omega^2}} = \sqrt{\dfrac{2\hbar n}{m \omega}}##. The...
  2. Mr_Allod

    Quantum Harmonic Oscillator with Additional Potential

    Hello there, I am trying to solve the above and I'm thinking that the solutions will be Hermite polynomials multiplied by a decaying exponential, much like the standard harmonic oscillator problem. The new Hamiltonian would be like so: $$H = - \frac \hbar {2m} \frac {d^2}{dx^2}\psi + \frac...
  3. J

    Discretizing a 1D quantum harmonic oscillator, finding eigenvalues

    ##x## can be discretized as ##x \rightarrow x_k ## such that ##x_{k + 1} = x_k + dx## with a positive integer ##k##. Throughout we may assume that ##dx## is finite, albeit tiny. By applying the Taylor expansion of the wavefunction ##\psi_n(x_{k+1})## and ##\psi_n(x_{k-1})##, we can quickly...
  4. tanaygupta2000

    Hamiltonian of a displaced QHO

    I am getting that we have to operate the given Hamiltonian on the given state |α>. But what is confusing me is that since this H contains position and momentum operators which just involve variable x and partial derivative, how do I operate this H on the given α, since it seems like α is...
  5. tanaygupta2000

    Integration of coherent state

    I began this solution by assuming a = x+iy since a is a complex number. So I wrote expressions of <a| and |a> in which |n><n| = I. I got the following integral: Σ 1/πn! ∫∫ dx dy exp[-(x^2 + y^2)] (x^2 + y^2)^n I I tried solving it using Integration by Parts but got stuck in the (x^2 + y^2)^n...
  6. Mayan Fung

    I How do we know that the raising operator only raises the state by one step?

    In the simple harmonic oscillator, I was told to use the raising and lowering operator to generate the excited states from the ground state. However, I am just thinking that how do we confirm that the raising operator doesn't miss some states in between. For example, I can define a raising...
  7. Mayan Fung

    Solving time dependent Hamiltonian

    What I have tried is a completing square in the Hamiltonian so that $$\hat{H} = \frac{\hat{p}^2}{2} + \frac{(\hat{q}+\alpha(t))^2}{2} - \frac{(\alpha(t))^2}{2}$$ I treat ##t## is just a parameter and then I can construct the eigenfunctions and the energy eigenvalues by just referring to a...
  8. patric44

    The Harmonic Oscillator Asymptotic solution?

    hi guys i am trying to solve the Asymptotic differential equation of the Quantum Harmonic oscillator using power series method and i am kinda stuck : $$y'' = (x^{2}-ε)y$$ the asymptotic equation becomes : $$y'' ≈ x^{2}y$$ using the power series method ##y(x) = \sum_{0}^{∞} a_{n}x^{n}## , this...
  9. Mayan Fung

    Perturbation from a quantum harmonic oscillator potential

    For the off-diagonal term, it is obvious that (p^2+q^2) returns 0 in the integration (##<m|p^2+q^2|n> = E<m|n> = 0##). However, (pq+qp) seems to give a complicated expression because of the complicated wavefunctions of a quantum harmonic oscillator. I wonder whether there is a good method to...
  10. matteo137

    I Exponential of momenta to entangle harmonic oscillators

    Consider two harmonic oscillators, described by annihilation operators a and b, both initially in the vacuum state. Let us imagine that there is a coupling mechanism governed by the Hamiltonian H=P_A P_B, where P_i is the momentum operator for the oscillator i. For example P_A =...
  11. S

    A Converting between field operators and harmonic oscillators

    Suppose we have a Hamiltonian containing a term of the form where ∂=d/dr and A(r) is a real function. I would like to study this with harmonic oscillator ladder operators. The naïve approach is to use where I have set ħ=1 so that This term is Hermitian because r and p both are.*...
  12. H

    A Overlap of nth QHO excited state and momentum-shifted QHO ground state

    ##\newcommand{\ket}[1]{|#1\rangle}## ##\newcommand{\bra}[1]{\langle#1|}## I have a momentum-shifting operator ##e^{i\Delta p x/\hbar}## acting on the ground state ##\ket{0}## of the QHO, and I want to compute the overlap of this state with the n##^{th}## excited QHO state ##\ket{n}##. Given...
  13. P

    I Solving a quantum harmonic oscillator using quasi momentum

    In the paper below I've seen a new method to solve the quantum harmonic oscillator Introduction to the Spectrum of N=4 SYM and the Quantum Spectral Curve It is done using the concept of quasi momentum defined as $$p = - i \frac{d(\log \psi)}{dx}$$ See pg 7,8 Is this well know? is it discussed...
  14. Garlic

    I Question about the quantum harmonic oscillator

    Dear PF community, I am back with a question :) The solutions for the quantum harmonic oscillator can be found by solving the Schrödinger's equation with: Hψ = -hbar/2m d²/dx² ψ + ½mω²x² ψ = Eψ Solving the differential equation with ψ=C exp(-αx²/2) gives: -hbar/2m (-α + α²x²)ψ + ½mω²x²ψ = Eψ...
  15. Baibhab Bose

    Effects of KE & PE of a Harmonic Oscillator under Re-scaling of coordinates

    The wavefunction is Ψ(x,t) ----> Ψ(λx,t) What are the effects on <T> (av Kinetic energy) and V (potential energy) in terms of λ? From ## \frac {h^2}{2m} \frac {\partial^2\psi(x,t)}{\partial x^2} + V(x,t)\psi(x,t)=E\psi(x,t) ## if we replace x by ## \lambda x ## then it becomes ## \frac...
  16. D

    QFT for Gifted Amateur - Problem 2.2

    I'm getting confused by the perturbation theory aspect of problem 2.2 in this book. We have to show that the energy eigenvalues are given by $$E_n = \left(n + \frac{1}{2}\right) \hbar \omega + \frac{3\lambda}{4} \left(\frac{\hbar}{m\omega}\right)^2 (2n^2 + 2n + 1)$$ For the Hamiltonian...
  17. L

    I Doubt in the quantum harmonic oscillator

    I was reviewing the harmonic oscillator with Sakurai. Using the annihilation and the creation operators ##a## and ##a^{\dagger}##, and the number operator ##N = a^{\dagger}a##, with ##N |n \rangle = n | n \rangle##, he showed that ##a | n \rangle## is an eigenstate of ##N## with eigenvalue ##n -...
  18. CharlieCW

    2D isotropic quantum harmonic oscillator: polar coordinates

    Homework Statement Find the eigenfunctions and eigenvalues of the isotropic bidimensional harmonic oscillator in polar coordinates. Homework Equations $$H=-\frac{\hbar}{2m}(\frac{\partial^2}{\partial r^2}+\frac{1}{r}\frac{\partial}{\partial r}+\frac{1}{r^2}\frac{\partial^2}{\partial...
  19. Abdul Quader

    I Quantum Harmonic Oscillator (QHO)

    1. I have been trying to plot wavefunctions of QHO for different states with potential energy function using excel. I followed Griffith's Quantum Mechanics, 2nd edition. I got the nature but they have same reference level. Basically I tried to draw fig2.7a (the first one) and got like the second...
  20. T

    Expectation of energy for a wave function

    Homework Statement At ##t = 0##, a particle of mass m in the harmonic oscillator potential, ##V(x) = \frac1 2 mw^2x^2## has the wave function:$$\psi(x,0)=A(1-2\sqrt\frac{mw} {\hbar} x)^2e^{\frac{-mw}{2\hbar}x^2}$$ where A is a constant If we make a measurement of the energy, what possible...
  21. JulienB

    3D quantum harmonic oscillator: linear combination of states

    Homework Statement Hi everybody! In my quantum mechanics introductory course we were given an exercise about the 3D quantum harmonic oscillator. We are supposed to write the state ##l=2##, ##m=2## with energy ##E=\frac{7}{2}\hbar \omega## as a linear combination of Cartesian states...
  22. Crush1986

    Quantum Harmonic Oscillator Problem

    Homework Statement Substitute \psi = Ne^{-ax^2} into the position-space energy eigenvalue equation and determine the value of the constant a that makes this function an eigenfunction. What is the corresponding energy eigenvalue? Homework Equations \frac{-\hbar^2}{2m}...
  23. thecourtholio

    Using generating function to normalize wave function

    Homework Statement Prove that ##\psi_n## in Eq. 2.85 is properly normalized by substituting generating functions in place of the Hermite polynomials that appear in the normalization integral, then equating the resulting Taylor series that you obtain on the two sides of your equation. As a...
  24. D

    Expectation values of the quantum harmonic oscillator

    Homework Statement Show the mean position and momentum of a particle in a QHO in the state ψγ to be: <x> = sqrt(2ħ/mω) Re(γ) <p> = sqrt (2ħmω) Im(γ) Homework Equations ##\psi_{\gamma} (x) = Dexp((-\frac{mw(x-<x>)^2}{2\hbar})+\frac{i<p>(x-<x>)}{ħ})##The Attempt at a Solution I put ψγ into...
  25. D

    Quantum harmonic oscillator wave function

    How do you find the wave function Φα when given the Hamiltonian, and the equation: aΦα(x) = αΦα(x) Where I know the operator a = 1/21/2((x/(ħ/mω)1/2) + i(p/(mħω)1/2)) And the Hamiltonian, (p2/2m) + (mω2x2)/2 And α is a complex parameter. I obviously don't want someone to do this question...
  26. L

    Perturbed Hamiltonian Matrix for Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

    Homework Statement How to calculate the matrix elements of the quantum harmonic oscillator Hamiltonian with perturbation to potential of -2cos(\pi x) The attempt at a solution H=H_o +H' so H=\frac{p^2}{2m}+\frac{1}{2} m \omega x^2-2cos(\pi x) I know how to find the matrix of the normal...
  27. R

    Quantum harmonic oscillator coupled to electric potential

    Homework Statement In ##1+1##-dimensional spacetime, two objects, each with charge ##Q##, are fixed and separated by a distance ##d##. (a) A light object of mass ##m## and charge ##-q## is attached to one of the massive objects via a spring of spring constant ##k##. Quantise the motion of the...
  28. E

    I Simple calc. of energy levels in quantum harmonic oscillator

    Derivation of energy levels in a quantum harmonic oscillator, ##E=(n+1/2) \hbar\omega##, is long, but the result is very short. At least in comparision with infinite quantum box, this result is simple. I suspect that it can be derived avoiding Hermite polynomials, eigenvalues, etc. I understand...
  29. phys-student

    Quantum harmonic oscillator, uncertainty relation

    Homework Statement Consider a particle with mass m oscillates in a simple harmonic potential with frequency ω. The position, x, and momentum operator, p, of the particle can be expressed in terms of the annihilation and creation operator (a and a† respectively): x = (ħ/2mω)^0.5 * (a† + a) p =...
  30. sa1988

    Quantum harmonic oscillator most likely position

    Homework Statement Part d) of the question below. Homework Equations We are told NOT to use the ladder technique to find the position operator as that's not covered until our Advanced Quantum Mechanics module next year (I don't even know this technique anyway). I emailed my tutor and he...
  31. I

    Showing f is a solution to quantum oscillator SWE

    Homework Statement For a 1-dimensional simple harmonic oscillator, the Hamiltonian operator is of the form: H = -ħ2/2m ∂xx + 1/2 mω2x2 and Hψn = Enψn = (n+1/2)ħωψn where ψn is the wave function of the nth state. defining a new function fn to be: fn = xψn + ħ/mω ∂xψn show that fn is a...
  32. L

    Average of Momentum for 1D Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

    For a 1D QHO we are given have function for ##t=0## and we are asked for expectation and variance of P at some time t. ##|\psi>=(1/\sqrt 2)(|n>+|n+1>)## Where n is an integer So my idea was to use Dirac operators ##\hat a## and ##\hat a^\dagger## and so I get the following solution ##<\hat...
  33. T

    Quantum Harmonic oscillator

    When I work out $$b^+b$$, I get $$\widehat{b^+} \widehat{b} = \frac{1}{2} (ξ - \frac{d}{dξ})(ξ + \frac{d}{dξ}) = \frac{1}{2} (ξ^2 - \frac{d^2}{dξ^2}) = \frac{mωπx^2}{h} - \frac{h}{4mωπ} \frac{d^2}{dx^2}$$ So base on what I have about, (9) should be $$(9) = \frac{hω}{2π} (\frac{1}{2}...
  34. Chip

    An operator acting on the translated ground state of an SHO

    I am trying to perform the operation a on a translated Gaussian, ie. the ground state of the simple harmonic oscillator (for which the ground state eigenfunction is e^-((x/xNot)^2). First, I was able to confirm just fine that a acting on phi-ground(x) = 0. But when translating by xNot, so a...
  35. H

    Driven Quantum harmonic oscillator by way of the S-Matrix

    Homework Statement We have the lagragian L = \frac{m}{2} \dot{x}^2 - \frac{m \omega x^2}{2} + f(t) x(t) where f(t) = f_0 for 0 \le t \le T 0 otherwise. The only diagram that survives in the s -matrix expansion when calculating <0|S|0> is D = \int dt dt' f(t)f(t') <0|T x(t)x(t')|0>...
  36. D

    Quantum oscillator from position to momentum space

    So I've read you can get the corresponding wave function of a quantum harmonic oscillator in momentum space from position space by making the substitution ##x \to k## and ##m \omega \to 1/m \omega##. However in deriving the TISE for momentum space, I seem to be making a mistake. In momentum...
  37. D

    Quantum harmonic oscillator inner product

    Homework Statement Using the equations that are defined in the 'relevant equations' box, show that $$\langle n' | X | n \rangle = \left ( \frac{\hbar}{2m \omega} \right )^{1/2} [ \delta_{n', n+1} (n+1)^{1/2} + \delta_{n',n-1}n^{1/2}]$$ Homework Equations $$\psi_n(x) = \left ( \frac{m...
  38. R

    Hamiltonian of the Half Harmonic Oscillator

    Given the half harmonic potential: \begin{equation}V=\begin{cases}1/2\omega^2mx^2 & x > 0\\\infty & x < 0\end{cases}\end{equation}What will be the Hamiltonian of the half oscillator?I understand that for x>0 the Hamiltonian will be...
  39. P

    Classical Limit of a Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

    I seem to have two approaches that I've seen and understand, but I can't quite see how they relate. 1. Write a general time evolving state as a superposition of stationary states multiplied by their exp(-iEt/h) factors, and calculate <x>. We find that <x>=Acos(wt+b) as in classical physics (in...
  40. E

    Quantum harmonic oscillator: average number of energy levels

    Homework Statement I must find the average number of energy levels of quantum harmonic oscillator at temperature T, and the answer is given as I must use Boltzmann distribution and the sum of geometric progression. For finding the average value I must use the equation <F>=trace(F*rho)...
  41. A

    Quantum harmonic oscillator tunneling puzzle

    My problem is described in the animation that I posted on Youtube: For the sake of convenience I am copying here the text that follows the animation: I have made this animation in order to present my little puzzle with the quantum harmonic oscillator. Think about a classical oscillator, a...
  42. mbijei

    Quantum harmonic oscillator in electric field

    Homework Statement There is a harmonic oscillator with charge q and sudenly we turn on external electric field E, which direction is the same as oscillator's. We need to find probability, that particles energy calculated in electric field will be in m state. n=1, m=2 2. Homework Equations The...
  43. D

    2D quantum harmonic oscillator in cylindrical coordinates (radial part

    Dear kind helpers, actually I am not 100% sure whether this is the right place to post, as it is not a homework in the sense of an exercise sheet. But I think it could be because it feels pretty basic and that I should be able to solve it. Though I really searched for a solution but could not...
  44. Greg Bernhardt

    What is a quantum harmonic oscillator

    Definition/Summary This is the quantum-mechanical version of the classical harmonic oscillator. Like the classical one, the quantum harmonic oscillator appears in several places, and it also appears in the quantization of fields. This article will discuss the one-dimensional version, but it...
  45. samgrace

    Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

    The energy changes correspond to infrared, h_bar * w. Which particles are actually oscillating? The neutrons or the electrons? Is it the electrons that fill up the stationary states, electronic configuration, or is it the nucleons that fill up the states?
  46. C

    Approx. Solution To Quantum Harmonic Oscillator for |x| large enough

    Hi folks! Apparently \Psi(x) = Ax^ne^{-m \omega x^2 / 2 \hbar} is an approximate solution to the harmonic oscillator in one dimension -\frac{\hbar ^2}{2m} \frac{d^2\psi}{dx^2} + \frac{1}{2}m \omega ^2 x^2 \psi = E \psi for sufficiently large values of |x|. I thought this...
  47. C

    Quantum Harmonic Oscillator problem

    Homework Statement For the n = 1 harmonic oscillator wave function, find the probability p that, in an experiment which measures position, the particle will be found within a distance d = (mk)-1/4√ħ/2 of the origin. (Hint: Assume that the value of the integral α = ∫0^1/2 x^2e^(-x2/2) dx is...
  48. A

    Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

    A harmonic oscillator with frequency ω is in its ground state when the stiffness of the spring is instantaneously reduced by a factor f2<1, so its natural frequency becomes f2ω. What is the probability that the oscillator is subsequently found to have energy 1.5(hbar)f2ω? Thanks
  49. G

    Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

    Homework Statement Given a quantum harmonic oscillator, calculate the following values: \left \langle n \right | a \left | n \right \rangle, \left \langle n \right | a^\dagger \left | n \right \rangle, \left \langle n \right | X \left | n \right \rangle, \left \langle n \right | P \left | n...
  50. Doofy

    Quantum harmonic oscillator, creation & annihilation operators?

    For a set of energy eigenstates |n\rangle then we have the energy eigenvalue equation \hat{H}|n\rangle = E_{n}|n\rangle. We also have a commutator equation [\hat{H}, \hat{a^\dagger}] = \hbar\omega\hat{a}^{\dagger} From this we have \hat{a}^{\dagger}\hat{H}|n\rangle =...
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