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DanielLC comments on [Transcript] Richard Feynman on Why Questions - Less Wrong

61 Post author: Grognor 08 January 2012 07:01PM

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Comment author: DanielLC 09 January 2012 03:27:01AM 1 point [-]

I have never been taught this in particular, but it seems unlikely that the Pauli exclusion principle could do it. It's a symmetry, not a force.

From what I understand, if you sent two fermions at each other, assuming they don't otherwise repel, they'd just pass through each other. The Pauli principle would merely guarantee that they do so at an anti-node. You'd never find them at the same spot. You also wouldn't find them at any other anti-nodes that appear along their trajectories, or more accurately, their joint trajectory in configuration space, or still more accurately, their joint waveform in configuration space. In any case, their momentum and energy would be completely unaffected by this.

The Pauli principle might be why electrons end up in a pattern in which they repel each other so well, but I don't see what else it can do.

If I'm wrong, please correct me, and send me somewhere where I can read more about how it works.