# Harmonic oscillator

1. Jul 28, 2005

### matrix5

why is the expectation value of the position of a harmonic oscillator in its ground state zero? and what does it mean that it is in ground state? is ground state equal to n=0 or n=1?

2. Jul 28, 2005

### DaTario

Ground state of a SHO has a gaussian wave function in which the average position is calculated in a standard way yielding x_avg = 0 as result (of course the center of the gaussian is suposed to be at x = 0 too).

The energy can be calculated with the n quantum number, so that n = 0 corresponds to the energy of $1/2 \hbar \omega$. Answering your sencond question, n=0 corresponds to groud state.

Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2005