Inherent Properties and Statistics with Individual Particles in Quantum Mechanics

Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40 (3):223-231 (2009)
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Abstract

This paper puts forward the hypothesis that the distinctive features of quantum statistics are exclusively determined by the nature of the properties it describes. In particular, all statistically relevant properties of identical quantum particles in many-particle systems are conjectured to be irreducible, ‘inherent’ properties only belonging to the whole system. This allows one to explain quantum statistics without endorsing the ‘Received View’ that particles are non-individuals, or postulating that quantum systems obey peculiar probability distributions, or assuming that there are primitive restrictions on the range of states accessible to such systems. With this, the need for an unambiguously metaphysical explanation of certain physical facts is acknowledged and satisfied.

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Matteo Morganti
Università degli Studi Roma Tre

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