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Should liquid helium at 4 K be treated as indistinguishable particles?

  1. Apr 28, 2012 #1
    The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    a) Should liquid water at room temperature be treated as indistinguishable particles?
    b) Should liquid helium at 4 K be treated as indistinguishable particles?

    The attempt at a solution

    Composite particles made up of spin 1/2 particles such as atoms made up of neutrons, protons, and electrons, are boson if they contain an even number of 1/2 particles, and fermions if they contain an odd number of 1/2 particles.

    Is this correct?

    a) Water has 10 electrons so it behaves like a boson, so it can be treated as indistinguishable particles and the spin of particles in the nucleus does not contribute.
    b) Helium has 2 electrons so the net spin is 0. It behaves like a boson, and the spin of the particles in the nucleus does not contribute. So it can be treated as indistinguishable particles.
     
  2. jcsd
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