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Why are nucleons, atoms and molecules considered identical particles (bosons or fermions) even if they can be distinguished by the state of their most elementary components?

Also, what size does a molecule have to be so we can we cease to consider two molecules of that specie identical?

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  • $\begingroup$ Buckyballs (C$_{60}$ molecules) have been shown to create an interference pattern. $\endgroup$ – Pieter Feb 13 '18 at 21:15
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    $\begingroup$ @Pieter I think you need to explain why an interference pattern is significant in this context. $\endgroup$ – StephenG Feb 13 '18 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ @undead, you are wrong. nucleons, atoms and molecules are not identical particles. Also, all molecules of one particular substance are identical. $\endgroup$ – niels nielsen Feb 13 '18 at 22:53
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    $\begingroup$ OP referred to "molecules of that specie", and that is quite clear. $\endgroup$ – Pieter Feb 13 '18 at 23:41
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    $\begingroup$ This explanation is pretty good: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…. Notice that whereas in principle you can never distinguish identical particles, in some cases you can. See here: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/377078/…. Also related: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/283682/… $\endgroup$ – valerio Feb 14 '18 at 14:45

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