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Entropy 2017, 19(9), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/e19090435

Contextuality and Indistinguishability

1
School of Humanities and Liberal Studies, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA
2
Instituto de Física La Plata, UNLP, CONICET, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, C.C. 67, 1900 La Plata, Argentina
3
Department of Philosophy, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis 88040-900, Brazil
All authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 8 August 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foundations of Quantum Mechanics)
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Abstract

It is well known that in quantum mechanics we cannot always define consistently properties that are context independent. Many approaches exist to describe contextual properties, such as Contextuality by Default (CbD), sheaf theory, topos theory, and non-standard or signed probabilities. In this paper, we propose a treatment of contextual properties that is specific to quantum mechanics, as it relies on the relationship between contextuality and indistinguishability. In particular, we propose that if we assume the ontological thesis that quantum particles or properties can be indistinguishable yet different, no contradiction arising from a Kochen–Specker-type argument appears: when we repeat an experiment, we are in reality performing an experiment measuring a property that is indistinguishable from the first, but not the same. We will discuss how the consequences of this move may help us understand quantum contextuality. View Full-Text
Keywords: quantum contextuality; indistinguishability; Kochen–Specker theorem; quasi-sets quantum contextuality; indistinguishability; Kochen–Specker theorem; quasi-sets
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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de Barros, J.A.; Holik, F.; Krause, D. Contextuality and Indistinguishability. Entropy 2017, 19, 435.

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