Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:

login

Log in through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Journal Article

Discerning “Indistinguishable” Quantum Systems

Adam Caulton
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 80, No. 1 (January 2013), pp. 49-72
DOI: 10.1086/668874
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/668874
Page Count: 24
Were these topics helpful?
See something inaccurate? Let us know!

Select the topics that are inaccurate.

Cancel
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($14.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Add to My Lists
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Discerning “Indistinguishable” Quantum Systems
Preview not available

Abstract

In a series of recent papers, Simon Saunders, Fred Muller, and Michael Seevinck have collectively argued, against the folklore, that some nontrivial version of Leibniz’s principle of the identity of indiscernibles is upheld in quantum mechanics. They argue that all particles—fermions, paraparticles, anyons, even bosons—may be weakly discerned by some physical relation. Here I show that their arguments make illegitimate appeal to nonsymmetric, that is, permutation-noninvariant, quantities and that therefore their conclusions do not go through. However, I show that alternative, symmetric quantities may be found to do the required work. I conclude that the Saunders-Muller-Seevinck heterodoxy can be saved.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
1
    1
  • Thumbnail: Page 
2
    2
  • Thumbnail: Page 
3
    3
  • Thumbnail: Page 
4
    4
  • Thumbnail: Page 
5
    5
  • Thumbnail: Page 
6
    6
  • Thumbnail: Page 
7
    7
  • Thumbnail: Page 
8
    8
  • Thumbnail: Page 
9
    9
  • Thumbnail: Page 
10
    10
  • Thumbnail: Page 
11
    11
  • Thumbnail: Page 
12
    12
  • Thumbnail: Page 
13
    13
  • Thumbnail: Page 
14
    14
  • Thumbnail: Page 
15
    15
  • Thumbnail: Page 
16
    16
  • Thumbnail: Page 
17
    17
  • Thumbnail: Page 
18
    18
  • Thumbnail: Page 
19
    19
  • Thumbnail: Page 
20
    20
  • Thumbnail: Page 
21
    21
  • Thumbnail: Page 
22
    22
  • Thumbnail: Page 
23
    23
  • Thumbnail: Page 
24
    24