Discerning "indistinguishable" quantum systems
Abstract
In a series of recent papers, Simon Saunders, Fred Muller and Michael Seevinck have collectively argued, against the philosophy of quantum mechanics folklore, that some nontrivial version of Leibniz's principle of the identity of indiscernibles is upheld in quantum mechanics. They argue that all particles  fermions, paraparticles, anyons, even bosons  may be weakly discerned by some physical relation. Here I show that their arguments make illegitimate appeal to nonsymmetric, i.e. permutationnoninvariant, quantities, and that therefore their conclusions do not go through. However, I show that alternative, symmetric quantities may be found to do the required work. I conclude that the SaundersMullerSeevinck heterodoxy can be saved after all.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 August 2014
 arXiv:
 arXiv:1409.0249
 Bibcode:
 2014arXiv1409.0249C
 Keywords:

 Quantum Physics
 EPrint:
 27 pages. This is a preprint of an article published in Philosophy of Science