Quarticles and the Identity of Indiscernibles

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Page: 239-249

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Huggett, Nick
Cambridge University Press
conference paper description
The principle of the identity of indiscernibles (PII) states that if two systems are qualitatively identical then they are logically identical. French and Redhead (1988) and Butterfield (1993) have shown the sense in which bosons and fermions violate the PII, but did not investigate the issue for particles of other kinds of statistics: i.e., for the (p,q) particles -- or `quarticles' -- of Hartle, Stolt and Taylor (1970). This paper shows that for any type of indistinguishable quarticle the PII is violated but that for distinguishable quarticles there are states in which it is violated by any pair of particles, states in which it is violated only by some pairs of particles and states in which it is violated by no pairs of particles. The updated version corrects a minor statement of mathematical fact, and provides a short proof for a conjecture made in the original, showing that the identity of indiscernibles is equivalent to (anti)symmetrization.