Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Harmonic oscillator probability

  1. Aug 15, 2006 #1
    Hello all,
    if I have an ion trapped in a harmonic oscillator potential with a resonant frequency 0f 11 MHz and the ion cooled to a temperature of T=0.48mK, how do I find the probability that the oscillator is in its ground state?

    I know that the ground state energy is [tex]1/2 \hbar \omega[/tex], but how do I connect this to the given temperature? And even then, how do I get the probability?

    Best regards
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2006 #2
    I need help on this one, it is probably an easy problem for a lot of you.

    Best regards,
  4. Aug 18, 2006 #3
    Have you taken a course in statistical mechanics before? Id say that the equipartition theorem probably holds the answer to your question.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook