The Physical Relevance of Indistinguishables

  • A. F. Parker-Rhodes
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 150)


Before proceeding to develop in detail the mathematical theory of indistinguishables based on the preliminary ideas set out in the preceding chapters, it will be helpful to consider at this point how it is proposed to use the theory to be developed. Briefly, I propose to offer an application of the theory of indistinguishables to fundamental physics. I hope to show in due course that the application is not altogether unsuccessful; but its success is achieved by an unfamiliar route. It is a by no means novel idea, that there is, underlying the phenomena currently observed by physicists, a more primitive level of existence whose properties may be reflected in many of the hitherto inexplicable facts of the physical world. This ‘more primitive level’ is here postulated to be that which the theory of indistinguishables describes; and the ‘facts’ which seem to receive an ‘explanation’ by this hypothesis, though a very mixed lot, include some of the well-known dimensionless ratios, of widely various orders of magnitude, which are correctly evaluated with gratifyingly small departures from their current empirical values. This chapter discusses the underlying philosophy of the method, and results in the formulation of appropriate questions to which the formal development of the theory will then be guided.


Physical World Physical Entity Physical Plane Physical Relevance Dimensionless Ratio 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1981

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  • A. F. Parker-Rhodes

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