American Journal of Physics
Harmonic oscillators, Feynman integrals, Path integrals, Quantum mechanics
We present a purely analytical method to calculate the propagator for the quantum harmonic oscillator using Feynman’s path integral. Though the details of the calculation are involved, the general approach uses only matrix diagonalization and well-known integrals, techniques which an advanced undergraduate should understand. The full propagator, including both the prefactor and the classical action, is obtained from a single calculation which involves the exact diagonalization of the discretized action for the system.
Cohen, S. M., (1998). Path integral for the quantum harmonic oscillator using elementary methods. American Journal of Physics, 66, 537-540