How Classical Particles Emerge From the Quantum World

Citation data:

Foundations of Physics, ISSN: 0015-9018, Vol: 41, Issue: 6, Page: 1051-1064

Publication Year:
Usage 738
Downloads 557
Abstract Views 120
PDF Views 52
HTML Views 9
Captures 30
Readers 22
Exports-Saves 8
Social Media 10
Tweets 10
Citations 10
Citation Indexes 10
Repository URL:
Dennis Dieks, Andrea Lubberdink
Springer Nature, Springer
Physics and Astronomy
Most Recent Tweet View All Tweets
article description
The symmetrization postulates of quantum mechanics (symmetry for bosons, antisymmetry for fermions) are usually taken to entail that quantum particles of the same kind (e. g., electrons) are all in exactly the same state and therefore indistinguishable in the strongest possible sense. These symmetrization postulates possess a general validity that survives the classical limit, and the conclusion seems therefore unavoidable that even classical particles of the same kind must all be in the same state-in clear conflict with what we know about classical particles. In this article we analyze the origin of this paradox. We shall argue that in the classical limit classical particles emerge, as new entities that do not correspond to the "particle indices" defined in quantum mechanics. Put differently, we show that the quantum mechanical symmetrization postulates do not pertain to particles, as we know them from classical physics, but rather to indices that have a merely formal significance. This conclusion raises the question of whether many discussions in the literature about the status of identical quantum particles have not been misguided. © 2010 The Author(s).

This article has 0 Wikipedia mention.