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Chapter 4.

Harmonic Oscillator
1 Examples of Harmonic Oscillators
Vibration of the nuclei in molecules
r
0
r : the distance between two atoms
r
2
0 0
) (
2
1
) ( r r k V r V +
-V
0
Vibration of atoms in solids: phonons
Vibration modes of a continuous physical system - application to radiation (photons)
2 Eigenvalues of the Hamiltonian
2.1 Hamiltonian
The Hamiltonian operator is

H =
p
2
2m
+
1
2
m
2
x
2
Dene two operators
a =
_
m
2h
_
x +
i p
m
_
: annihilation operator a

=
_
m
2 h
_
x
i p
m
_
: creation operator
Consider the commutator
[ a, a

] =
1
2 h
(i[ x, p] +i[ p, x]) = 1
Using x =
_
h
2m
( a + a

) and p =
1
i
_
mh
2
( a a

),

H =
1
2m
_
_
1
i

mh
2
( a a

)
_
_
2
+
1
2
m
2
_
_

h
2m
( a + a

)
_
_
2
1
=
h
4
_
a
2
a a

a + ( a

)
2
_
+
h
4
_
a
2
+ a a

+ a

a + ( a

)
2
_
=
h
2
( a a

+ a

a) =
h
2
( a

a + 1 + a

a)


H = h( a

a +
1
2
) = h(

N +
1
2
)
where

N = a

a.
We denote an eigenket of

N by its eigenvalue n as

N[n) = n[n).


H[n) = (n +
1
2
) h[n)
energy eigenvalue, E
n
= (n +
1
2
)h
2.2 Annihilation and Creation Operator
[

N, a] = [ a

a, a] = a

[ a, a] + [ a

, a] a = a
[

N, a

] = [ a

a, a

] = a

[ a, a

] + [ a

, a

] a = a

Thus,

N a

[n) = ([

N, a

] + a


N)[n) = (n + 1) a

[n)
: a

[n) is an eigenstate of

N with eigenvalue of (n + 1). a

: creation operator
Similarly,

N a[n) = ([

N, a] + a

N)[n) = (n 1) a[n)
: a[n) is an eigenstate of

N with eigenvalue of (n 1). a: annihilation operator
We write a[n) = c[n 1), then
n[ a

a[n) = [c[
2
n 1[n 1) = [c[
2
= nn[n)
= n
Therefore, [c[
2
= n c =

n
Thus,
a[n) =

n[n 1)
Similarly,
a

[n) =

n + 1[n + 1)
n is a positive integer.
Proof) n = n[

N[n) = (n[ a

)( a[n)) 0.
If n is not integer, ( a)
m
[n) [n m) n m is negative when m > n.
Thus, n should be positive integer.
2
3 Eigenstates of the Hamiltonian
3.1 Construction of the number state [n)
The ground state has n = 0: [0) and E
0
=
1
2
h.
Successive application of a

to the ground state gives rise to


[n) =
_
( a

)
n

n!
_
[0), E
n
= (n +
1
2
)h
3.2 Matrix Elements
Using the number states [n) as a basis,
n

[ a[n) =

n
n

,n1
n

[ a

[n) =

n + 1
n

,n+1
n

[ x[n) =

h
2m
(

n
n

,n1
+

n + 1
n

,n+1
)
n

[ p[n) = i

mh
2
(

n
n

,n1
+

n + 1
n

,n+1
)
a =
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
0

1 0 0
0 0

2 0
0 0 0

3
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
0 0 0 0 0

n
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
a

=
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
0 0 0 0

1 0 0 0
0

2 0 0
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
0 0 0

n + 1 0
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
3.3 x-representation
x

[ a[0) =
_
m
2h
_
x

x +
i p
m

0
_
= 0

_
x

+x
2
0
d
dx

0
(x

) = 0 where
0
(x

) x

[0) and x
0

h
m

d
0
(x

0
(x

)
=
x

x
2
0
dx

ln
0
(x) =
x
2
2x
2
0
+C

0
(x) = Ae

x
2
2x
2
0
3
Normalization: A =
1

1/4

x
0


0
(x) =
1

1/4

x
0
e

x
2
2x
2
0
In general,
n
(x) = x[n) = x[
1

n!
( a

)
n
[0) =
_
1

1/4

2
n
n!
_
_
1
x
n+1/2
0
_
_
x x
2
0
d
dx
_
n
e

x
2
2x
2
0
3.4 Expectation Values
n[ x[n) =

h
2m
(

n
n,n1
+

n + 1
n,n+1
) = 0
n[ p[n) = i

mh
2
(

n
n,n1
+

n + 1
n,n+1
) = 0
n[ x
2
[n) =
h
2m
n[
_
( a

)
2
+ a

a + a a

+ a
2
_
[n) =
h
2m
n[
_
a

a + a a

_
[n)
=
h
2m
n[
_
2 a

a + 1
_
[n) =
h
2m
(2n + 1) = (n +
1
2
)
h
m
n[ p
2
[n) =
mh
2
n[
_
( a

)
2
a

a a a

+ a
2
_
[n) =
mh
2
n[
_
a

a + a a

_
[n)
=
mh
2
n[
_
2 a

a + 1
_
[n) = (n +
1
2
)mh
xp = ( x
2
) x)
2
)
1/2
( p
2
) p)
2
)
1/2
=
_
(n +
1
2
)
h
m
_
1/2
_
(n +
1
2
)mh
_
1/2
= (n +
1
2
) h
Note:
(i)

T) =
p
2
2m
) =
1
2
h(n +
1
2
) =
1
2


H),

V ) =
1
2
m
2
x
2
) =
1
2
h(n +
1
2
) =
1
2


H)
: Virial theorem
(ii) When n = 0, xp =
h
2
: minimum uncertainty - wave function
0
(x): Gaussian
3.5 Time Evolution of x) and p)
d
dt
x) =
1
ih
[ x,

H]) =
p)
m
d
dt
p) =
1
ih
[ p,

H]) = m
2
x)
4

d
2
dt
2
x) =
1
m
d
dt
p) =
2
x) x)
t
= Acos t +Bsint
At t=0, x)
0
= A,
d
dt
x) =
p
0
m
= B
x)
t
= x)
0
cos t +
p)
0
m
sin t, p)
t
= m
d
dt
x)
t
= p)
0
cos t m x)
0
sin t
4 Isotropic 3D Harmonic Oscillator
4.1 Hamiltonian and Eigenvalue Equation
x
y
z
m
2 2
2

2
1
2

r m
m
p
H + =
where p
2
= p
2
x
+ p
2
y
+ p
2
z
and r
2
= x
2
+ y
2
+ z
2
.
Then,

H =

H
x
+

H
y
+

H
z
where

H
x
=
p
2
x
2m
+
1
2
m
2
x
2

H
x
,

H
y
,

H
z
: 1D harmonic oscillator Hamiltonian.
Since

H
x
,

H
y
, and

H
z
are commute with

H, the eigenvalue equation,

H[) = E[), can be solved
seeking the eigenvectors of

H which are also eigenvectors of

H
x
,

H
y
, and

H
z
.
Eigenvectors and eigenvalues of

H
x
,

H
y
,

H
z
.

H
x
[n
x
) = (n
x
+
1
2
) h[n
x
),

H
y
[n
y
) = (n
y
+
1
2
) h[n
y
),

H
z
[n
z
) = (n
z
+
1
2
)h[n
z
)
The eigenstates common to

H,

H
x
,

H
y
, and

H
z
are [n
x
, n
y
, n
z
) [n
x
)[n
y
)[n
z
), in c
x

c
y

c
z

H[n
x
, n
y
, n
z
) = (n
x
+n
y
+n
z
+
3
2
) h[n
x
, n
y
, n
z
)
Eigenvectors of

H: [n
x
, n
y
, n
z
) - tensor products of eigenvectors of

H
x
,

H
y
,

H
z
Eigenvalues of

H: E = (n
x
+n
y
+n
z
+
3
2
) h - sums of eigenvalues of

H
x
,

H
y
,

H
z
, E
n
= (n+
3
2
) h
4.2 Degeneracy of the Energy Levels
(1)

H
x
,

H
y
,

H
z
is a C.S.C.O. in c
r
since

H
x
,

H
y
, and

H
z
are C.S.C.O.s in c
x
, c
y
, and c
z
.

H does not form a C.S.C.O. since the energy levels E


n
are degenerate.
(2) Degree of degeneracy, g
n
5
0
1
0
0
:
n-1
0
:
n
n
z
2
1
n
n+1
0 n
0
1
n-1
n-1
:
0
1
n
:
0
0
n
y
n
x

+
+ + = =
+ + + + + =
1
) 2 )( 1 (
2
1
) 1 ( 2 1
n
i
n
n n i
n n g L
4.3 Annihilation and Creation Operator
[ a
x
, a

x
] = [ a
y
, a

y
] = [ a
z
, a

z
] = 1
a

x
[n
x
, n
y
, n
z
) =

n
x
+ 1[n
x
+ 1, n
y
, n
z
)
a
x
[n
x
, n
y
, n
z
) =

n
x
[n
x
1, n
y
, n
z
)
[n
x
, n
y
, n
z
) =
1
_
n
x
!n
y
!n
z
!
( a

x
)
n
x
( a

y
)
n
y
( a

z
)
n
z
[0, 0, 0)
r[0, 0, 0) =
_
m
h
_
3/4
e

m
2 h
(x
2
+y
2
+z
2
)
5 A Charged Harmonic Oscillator in a Uniform Electric Field
5.1 Hamiltonian
x
x q x m x V =
2 2
2
1
) (

m,q

H =
p
2
2m
+
1
2
m
2
x
2
q x
5.2 Schrodinger Equation
_

h
2
2m
d
2
dx
2
+
1
2
m
2
x
2
qx
_
(x) = E(x)
6

h
2
2m
d
2
dx
2
+
1
2
m
2
_
x
q
m
2
_
2

q
2

2
2m
2
_
(x) = E(x)
Replace the variable x by u = x
q
m
2
,
_

h
2
2m
d
2
du
2
+
1
2
m
2
u
2
_
(u) = E

(u), where E

= E +
q
2

2
2m
2
Eigenfunctions and eigenvalues

n
(u) =
n
_
x
q
m
2
_
The translation comes from the fact that the electric eld exerts a force on the particle.
E
n
= E

n

q
2

2
2m
2
= (n +
1
2
) h
q
2

2
2m
2
x
V(x)
2 0

m
q
x =
2
2 2
2

m
q

5.3 Electrical Susceptibility


: electric field
+
-
+
-
+
-
+
-
+
-
+
-
x
polarized: P=qx P
x
=qx
Susceptibility: =P
x
/
(i) When = 0,

P
x
) = qn[ x[n) = 0
(i) When ,= 0,

P
x
) = qn

[ x[n

) = q
_

dx

_
x
q
m
2
_
x
n

_
x
q
m
2
_
= q
_

du

n
(u) (u +x
0
)
n
(u) , where x = u +x
0
, x
0
=
q
m
2
= q
_

du

n
(u) u
n
(u) +qx
0
_

n
(u) [
2
du
= qx
0
=
q
2

m
2
7
Susceptibility, =

P
x
)

=
1

q
2

m
2
=
q
2
m
2
x
0
is the mean value of the equilibrium position of the electron
Polarizability P
x
= qx
0
=
qx
0

5.4 Translation Operator

U() e
( a a

)
, is a real constant.
Adjoint

U

() = e
( a a


U()

() =

U

()

U() =

1

U: unitary operator
Under the corresponding unitary transformation,

H becomes

=

U()

H

U

() = h
_
1
2
+

U() a

()
_
= h
_
a

+
1
2
_
where a

=

U() a

()
Using e

A+

B
= e

A
e

B
e

1
2
[

A,

B]

U() = e
a+ a

= e
a
e
a

2
2
,

U()

= e
a

+ a
= e
a

e
a
e

2
2
Then,
a

= (e
a
e
a

2
2
) a(e
a

e
a
e

2
2
)
= e
a
(e
a

ae
a

)e
a
[e
a

, a] = e
a

, e
a

ae
a

= a
= e
a
( a )e
a
= a
Similarly, a

= a


Thus,

= h
_
( a

)( a ) +
1
2
_
=

H h( a + a

) +
2
h
Let =
q

_
1
2mh
and use a + a

=
_
2m
h
x.

=

H
q

_
1
2mh
h
_
2m
h
x +
q
2

2
1
2mh
h
=

H q x +
q
2

2
2m
2
=

H

() +
q
2

2
2m
2
Since

H[n) = E
n
[n),


U()[n) =

U()

H

U

()

U()[n) =

U()

H[n) = E
n

U()[n)
Therefore, [n)

=

U()[n) is a eigenstate of

H

() and eigenvalue is E

n
= (n +
1
2
) h
q
2

2
2m
2
[n)

=

U()[n) = e
i
p
h
x
0
[n), x
0
=
q
m
2
8
6 Coupled Harmonic Oscillators
6.1 Classical Picture
x
1
m m
k
1
k
2
k
1
x
2
2
1 1
m k =
2
2 2
m k =
Equation of motion
m
d
2
x
1
dt
2
= k
1
x
1
+k
2
(x
2
x
1
)
m
d
2
x
2
dt
2
= k
1
x
2
+k
2
(x
1
x
2
)
Introduce x
C
=
1
2
(x
1
+x
2
) (center of mass motion) and x
R
= x
1
x
2
(relative motion).
The equation of motion becomes
d
2
dt
2
x
C
=
2
1
x
C
d
2
dt
2
x
R
=
2
1
x
R
2
2
2
x
R
= (
2
1
+ 2
2
2
)x
R
x
C
(t) = x
0
C
cos(
C
t +
C
),
C
=
1
x
R
(t) = x
0
R
cos(
R
t +
R
),
R
=
_

2
1
+ 2
2
2
: normal vibrational mode

R
General motion - linear combination of normal modes.
x
1
(t) = x
C
(t) +
1
2
x
R
(t)
x
2
(t) = x
C
(t)
1
2
x
R
(t)
When
2

1
,
R
=
C
_
1 +
2
2
2

2
1
_
1/2

C
+

2
2

1
beating
9
t
x
1
Fast oscillaton
Slow oscillaton
1
2
2
2


C R
C

6.2 Quantum Mechanical Picture

H =
1
2m
( p
2
1
+ p
2
2
) +
1
2
m
2
1
( x
2
1
+ x
2
2
) +
1
2
m
2
2
( x
1
x
2
)
2
=
p
2
C
2
C
+
p
2
R
2
R
+
1
2

2
C
x
2
C
+
1
2

2
R
x
2
R
where p
C
= p
1
+ p
2
,
C
= 2m,
C
=
1
and p
R
=
p
1
p
2
2
,
R
=
m
2
,
R
=
_

2
1
+ 2
2
2

H =

H
C
+

H
R

H
C
=
p
2
C
2
C
+
1
2

2
C
x
2
C
= ( a

C
a
C
+
1
2
) h
C

H
R
=
p
2
R
2
R
+
1
2

2
R
x
2
R
= ( a

R
a
R
+
1
2
) h
R
(1) Eigenvalues and eigenstates
[u) = [n
C
, n
R
) = [n
C
)[n
R
)
where

H
C
[n
C
) = (n
C
+
1
2
) h
C
[n
C
) and

H
R
[n
R
) = (n
R
+
1
2
) h
R
[n
R
)
(2) Quantum beats
[(0)) =
1

2
([0, 1) +[1, 0))
[(t)) =
1

2
(e

i
h

Ht
[0, 1) +e

i
h

Ht
[1, 0))
=
1

2
(e
i(
C
/2+3
R
/2)t
[0, 1) +e
i(3
C
/2+
R
/2)t
[1, 0))
=
1

2
e
i(
C
+3
R
)t/2
([0, 1) +e
i(
C

R
)t
[1, 0))
( ) 10 01
2
1
2 =
C R
T

=
2
( ) 10 01
2
1
1 + =
Coupling lifts degeneracy
When
2
= 0 (no coupling), two-fold degeneracy exists : [n
1
, n
2
) and [n
2
, n
1
) has the same energy
eigenvalue E = (n
1
+n
2
+ 1)h.
10