Foundations of Physics

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 83–92 | Cite as

Quantum assembly semantics: The fallacious lingo of occupation numbers

  • James L. Park
Part IV. Invited Papers Dedicated To John Stewart Bell


The usual heuristic description of quantum mechanical assemblies features so-called “occupation numbers” interpreted quite literally. This essay critically compares that point of view with a more rigorous understanding of composite systems based upon a principal lesson of Einstein's paradox and Bell's inequality, viz., that it is fallacious to regard a subsystem as possessing or “occupying” any state whatever.


Composite System Occupation Number Mechanical Assembly Usual Heuristic Rigorous Understanding 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • James L. Park
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsWashington State UniversityPullman

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