The Case Against Factorism: On the Labels of ⊗ -Factor Hilbert-Spaces of Similar Particles in Quantum Mechanics

F. A. Muller*, Gijs Leegwater

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We discuss the case against Factorism, which is the standard assumption in quantum mechanics that the labels of the ⊗ -factor Hilbert-spaces in direct-product Hilbert-spaces of composite physical systems of similar particles refer to particles, either directly or descriptively. We distinguish different versions of Factorism and argue for their truth or falsehood. In particular, by introducing the concepts of snapshot Hilbert-space and Schrödinger-movie, we demonstrate that there are Hilbert-spaces and ⊗ -factorisations where the labels do refer, even descriptively, to similar particles, which renders them probabilistically absolutely discernible.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal for General Philosophy of Science
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

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