Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Quantum MechanicsAn Empiricist View$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Bas C. van Fraassen

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198239802

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198239807.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 November 2020

The Problem of Identical Particles

The Problem of Identical Particles

Chapter:
(p.375) 11 The Problem of Identical Particles
Source:
Quantum Mechanics
Author(s):

Bas C. van Fraassen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198239807.003.0011

Do the properties of a compound or aggregate supervene on the properties of its parts? Theories that imply a negative answer (or the states they attribute) are called ’holistic’. Besides the EPR paradox, Pauli's Exclusion Principle and quantum statistics (for aggregates of identical bosons or fermions) are all generally cited as establishing the holism of quantum theory. It has been conjectured both that the principle of Permutation Invariance accounts for the departures from classical statistics, and that if ’identical’ in ’aggregate of identical particles’ is properly understood, then it entails Permutation Invariance tautologically. It has also been thought that there can be a proof within elementary (non‐relativistic) quantum mechanics of the principle of Dichotomy, i.e. that only Bose and Fermi statistics, and not intermediate non‐classical ’para‐statistics’ can apply. All three conjectures are contested in this chapter and the next. This chapter is devoted to an exposition of the quantum theoretical foundations for this subject, with implications for limits to interpretation of the theory.

Keywords:   Bose statistics, boson, Dichotomy Principle, Fermi statistics, fermion, holism, identical particles, para‐statistics, Pauli's Exclusion Principle, Permutation Invariance, quantum statistics

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .