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Quantum Mechanics 7 - The Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

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Taking our intuitive understanding of the quantum world gained by studying a particle in a one-dimensional box, we generalize to understand a quantum harmonic oscillator.

Learning Outcomes:

• Introduction to the classical physics of a ball rolling back and forth in a bowl, a simple example of a very important type of bounded motion called a “harmonic oscillator.”

• The quantization of allowed energies of a harmonic oscillator: even spacing between energy levels, and zero point energy.

• Being able to sketch the allowed wavefunctions and particle probability patterns of a quantum harmonic oscillator, including a new phenomenon called “tunnelling.”