Individuality, quasi-sets and the double-slit experiment

Quantum Studies: Mathematics and Foundations (forthcoming)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Quasi-set theory $\cal Q$ allows us to cope with certain collections of objects where the usual notion of identity is not applicable, in the sense that $x = x$ is not a formula, if $x$ is an arbitrary term. $\cal Q$ was partially motivated by the problem of non-individuality in quantum mechanics. In this paper I discuss the range of explanatory power of $\cal Q$ for quantum phenomena which demand some notion of indistinguishability among quantum objects. My main focus is on the double-slit experiment, a major physical phenomenon which was never modeled from a quasi-set-theoretic point of view. The double-slit experiment strongly motivates the concept of degrees of indistinguishability within a field-theoretic approach, and that notion is simply missing in $\cal Q$. Nevertheless, other physical situations may eventually demand a revision on quasi-set theory axioms, if someone intends to use it in the quantum realm for the purpose of a clear discussion about non-individuality. I use this opportunity to suggest another way to cope with identity in quantum theories.


Added to PP

165 (#51,261)

6 months
18 (#70,777)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?