Degree of Freedom

Degree of Freedom

Example 1. 3D Harmonic Oscillator

If the oscillator has no transitional and rotational degrees of freedom, but it has 3 vibrational degrees of freedom, then the energy is

$$ \large \begin{split} E &= \text{(kinetic energy)} + \text{(potential energy)} \\ \\ &= \left( \frac{1}{2}kT \times 3 \right) + \left( \frac{1}{2}kT \times 3 \right) \\ \\ &= 3kT \end{split} $$
  • GRE Physics GR0177: Problem 005

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