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History/Derivation of multi-particle wave functions?

  1. Dec 26, 2011 #1
    Hi,
    it says on Wikipedia here that "a particle in state n, and a particle in state m" is described by
    |n>|m>±|m>|n>
    rather than the naive |n>|m>.

    I can see why this is sensible on many accounts (eg, you'd want to preserve the predicted probability of finding blah under switching the indices, due to indistinguishability).

    Where can I find a derivation of this? Or what should I read up on in order to understand it this better? Perhaps it comes from statistical mechanics or something?

    Or is it just a neat "guess" that happens to agree with experiment? (Arguably all of physics is or comes from this, I suppose)

    I'm not really sure what to google, but I have tried googling. Usually comes up with lecture notes that derive it by the argument of "We want our final answer to have these certain properties, so let's just take what we have so far from the Schrodinger equation and do this, that and the other to make it have those properties".

    I have a maths degree from Cambridge, so I don't mind reading technical material involving equations...but I barely know any physics :(

    Thanks,
    and sorry for the disorganized post.
     
  2. jcsd
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