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Homework Help: Potential well, harmonic oscillator

  1. Dec 4, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Parabolic harmonic oscillator potential well. A particle is trapped in the well, oscillating classically back and forth between x=b and x=-b. The potential jumps from Vo to zero at x=a and x=-a. The particle's energy is Vo/2. I need to find the potential function V(x) in terms of Vo and a.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Honestly I am really stumped. I tried several approaches, and I think I might just be making this way harder than it should be. I just imagine when dealing with a classical oscillating in a parabolic potential well, you should just use the equation i put in the relevant equations section, and then solve for V(x). However that isn't a function of x, its a function of velocity. Also it is lacking the required dependence on a. I have no idea how a could come into the equation for V(x). I tried thinking of a bunch of conditions to apply it but nothing made sense. Any guidance would be awesome
  2. jcsd
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