Identity in physics: Statistics and the (non-)individuality of quantum particles

In Henk W. de Regt (ed.), EPSA Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer (2011)
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Abstract

This paper discusses the issue of the identity and individuality (or lack thereof) of quantum mechanical particles. It first reconstructs, on the basis of the extant literature, a general argument in favour of the conclusion that such particles are not individual objects. Then, it critically assesses each one of the argument’s premises. The upshot is that, in fact, there is no compelling reason for believing that quantum particles are not individual objects.

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Matteo Morganti
Università degli Studi Roma Tre

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References found in this work

Identity in physics: a historical, philosophical, and formal analysis.Steven French & Decio Krause - 2006 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Decio Krause.
Are quantum particles objects?Simon Saunders - 2006 - Analysis 66 (1):52-63.
Relational Holism and Quantum Mechanics1.Paul Teller - 1986 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37 (1):71-81.
Discerning Fermions.Simon Saunders & F. A. Muller - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):499 - 548.
Quantum physics and the identity of indiscernibles.Steven French & Michael Redhead - 1988 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (2):233-246.

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