Multiplicity and indiscernibility

Synthese 198 (9):8779-8808 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The indistinguishability of bosons and fermions has been an essential part of our ideas of quantum mechanics since the 1920s. But what is the mathematical basis for this indistinguishability? An answer was provided in the group representation theory that developed alongside quantum theory and quickly became a major part of its mathematical structure. In the 1930s such a complex and seemingly abstract theory came to be rejected by physicists as the standard functional analysis picture presented by John von Neumann took hold. The purpose of the present account is to show how indistinguishability is explained within representation theory.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,745

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Ontological indistinguishability as a central tenet of quantum theory.José Acacio de Barros & Federico Holik - 2023 - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 381:20220100.

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-03-09

Downloads
26 (#145,883)

6 months
8 (#1,326,708)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Five Indistinguishable Spheres.Adrian Heathcote - 2022 - Axiomathes 32 (2):367-383.
Countability and self-identity.Adrian Heathcote - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (4):1-23.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Models and Analogies in Science.Mary B. Hesse - 1963 - [Notre Dame, Ind.]: University of Notre Dame Press.
Philosophy of Mathematics and Natural Science.Hermann Weyl - 1949 - Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. Edited by Olaf Helmer-Hirschberg & Frank Wilczek.
Identity in physics: a historical, philosophical, and formal analysis.Steven French & Decio Krause - 2006 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Decio Krause.
Models and Analogies in Science.Mary B. Hesse - 1966 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 3 (3):190-191.

View all 31 references / Add more references