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Do `classical' space and time confer identity to quantum particles?

Krause, Decio (2017) Do `classical' space and time confer identity to quantum particles? [Preprint]

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Abstract

Non-relativistic quantum mechanics is grounded on ‘classical’ (Newto- nian) space and time (NST). The mathematical description of these con- cepts entails that any two spatially separated objects are necessarily dif- ferent, which implies that they are discernible (in classical logic, identity is defined by means of indiscernibility) — we say that the space is T2, or "Hausdorff". But quantum systems, in the most interesting cases, some- times need to be taken as indiscernible, so that there is no way to tell which system is which, and this holds even in the case of fermions. But in the NST setting, it seems that we can always give an identity to them, which seems to be contra the physical situation. In this paper we discuss this topic for a case study (that of two potentially infinite wells) and con- clude that, taking into account the quantum case, that is, when physics enter the discussion, even NST cannot be used to say that the systems do have identity.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Krause, Deciodeciokrause@gmail.com
Keywords: identity of quantum particles, spatial identity, space and time in quantum mechanics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Décio Krause
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2017 15:13
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2017 15:13
Item ID: 12911
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 16 March 2017
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12911

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