March 16, 2024
Delaware State University, Bank of America Building
US/Eastern timezone
See you all the the Fall 2024 Meeting on Saturday, Oct. 19 @ JLab/Zoom !

Demystifying the use of complex numbers with driven-damped harmonic oscillators

Mar 16, 2024, 9:30 AM
BOA 101 (Delaware State University, Bank of America Building)

BOA 101

Delaware State University, Bank of America Building

1200 N. DuPont Highway Dover, DE 19901
Talk (15 minutes) BOA 101


James Freericks (Georgetown University)


In 1930, Born and Jordan wrote a quantum mechanics textbook. In that work, they used a curious map to convert the harmonic oscillator equations of motion into two linear (uncoupled) first-order equations. When used in classical mechanics, this mapping clearly shows how one should introduce complex numbers into the motion of a harmonic oscillator and how to solve for the position and momentum observables. In this talk, I will explain how this mapping works and show how to demystify complex numbers usage in damped-driven harmonic oscillators.

Primary author

James Freericks (Georgetown University)


Mr Jason Tran (Georgetown University) Dr Leanne Doughty (Georgetown University)

Presentation materials