Non-Interacting Particles

52
1
I just wanted to clarify something conceptual with non-interacting particles. So if you have three identical non-interacting fermions (say electrons), is it true that they are distinguishable (since they're non-interacting)? Or are they indistinguishable since they're still identical?
 
525
5
No, the indistinguishability of the electrons is also present in the absence of interactions. Any wavefunction of the electrons is anti-symmetrized. So although the electrons do not interact, they still feel some form of repelment as they cannot occupy the same state.

It's ofcourse a mathematical statement, since non-interacting particles can hardly be considered physical.
 
52
1
No, the indistinguishability of the electrons is also present in the absence of interactions. Any wavefunction of the electrons is anti-symmetrized. So although the electrons do not interact, they still feel some form of repelment as they cannot occupy the same state.

It's ofcourse a mathematical statement, since non-interacting particles can hardly be considered physical.
Ok thanks. So basically: even though they're non-interacting, they're still indistinguishable and they obey the Pauli exclusion principle. Correct?
 
525
5
Yes, indeed.
 

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