Table of Contents
Journal of Computational Methods in Physics
Volume 2013, Article ID 308538, 19 pages
Research Article

Dynamics Underlying the Gaussian Distribution of the Classical Harmonic Oscillator in Zero-Point Radiation

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588, USA

Received 12 April 2013; Accepted 29 July 2013

Academic Editor: Marta B. Rosales

Copyright © 2013 Wayne Cheng-Wei Huang and Herman Batelaan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Stochastic electrodynamics (SED) predicts a Gaussian probability distribution for a classical harmonic oscillator in the vacuum field. This probability distribution is identical to that of the ground state quantum harmonic oscillator. Thus, the Heisenberg minimum uncertainty relation is recovered in SED. To understand the dynamics that give rise to the uncertainty relation and the Gaussian probability distribution, we perform a numerical simulation and follow the motion of the oscillator. The dynamical information obtained through the simulation provides insight to the connection between the classic double-peak probability distribution and the Gaussian probability distribution. A main objective for SED research is to establish to what extent the results of quantum mechanics can be obtained. The present simulation method can be applied to other physical systems, and it may assist in evaluating the validity range of SED.