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Homework Help: Ignoring Indistinguishability

  1. Aug 17, 2007 #1
    I have been asked to find whether or not indistinguishability may or may not be ignored from a given sample of atoms at a given temperature.

    The calculation I have done fine, but my question is given that the criterion for neglecting indistinguishability has to satisfy

    de broglie wavelength << average distance between atoms

    How much is considered 'a lot less'?

    In my answer I have found the de Broglie wavelength to be a single order of magnitude less than the separation. Is this considered a lot less??
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2007 #2
    In my experience, one order of magnitude is generally a reasonable cut-off for the vague >> and << notions.

    Perhaps it would be better to report how significant it is, and let the person who gave you this task to judge for themselves, since "may or may not be ignored" is completely subjective.
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