Quantum Information Processing, Vol. 5, No. 4, August 2006 (© 2006)
Proposed Experiment to Test the Possible Time
Dependence of the Onset of the Pauli Exclusion
Received November 17, 2005; accepted December 5, 2005; Published online April 28, 2006
Ernesto Corinaldesi has conjectured that the symmetry of integral spin parti-
cles under exchange and the anti-symmetry of half-integral spin particles under
exchange are not kinematic principles but are rather the time-dependent conse-
quences of interactions among the particles. Hence, a freshly constituted ensem-
ble of electrons may exhibit violations of the Pauli Exclusion Principle (PP), but
as the ensemble ages, the violations become more and more infrequent. An exper-
iment is proposed to test Corinaldesi’s conjecture. A beam of Ne
ated in a linear accelerator to 100th the velocity of light, is crossed by a beam
of electrons from an electron gun at variable positions along the direction of ﬂow
of the ions. Some of the ions capture electrons, at a rate monitored by detec-
tors sensitive to the photons emitted in the capture process. A PP violating elec-
tron can make a transition to the doubly occupied 1s level, emitting a photon of
approximately 1 keV. A rate of detection of such photons, which diminishes with
the distance of the detector from the point of capture, and hence with the age
of the ensemble, permits in principle the calculation of the equilibration constant
of Corinaldesi’s conjecture. Reasonable assumptions about the parameters of the
experimental arrangement indicate that if the conjecture is correct and the equil-
ibration constant is not shorter than 10
s, the proposed experiment can deter-
mine the value of this constant.
KEY WORDS: Pauli exclusion principle.
PACS: 05.30.Fk; 05.30.-d.
The best experimental test of the Pauli Exclusion Principle (PP) performed
so far is by Ramberg and Snow.
In this experiment a steady current is
applied to a copper strip. The electrons in the copper atoms are assumed
to obey PP, but some of the new electrons introduced into the strip by
Departments of Philosophy and Physics Boston University, Boston, MA, USA.
1570-0755/06/0800-0277/0 © 2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.