Why colloidal systems can be described by statistical mechanics: some not very original comments on the Gibbs paradox

@article{Frenkel2014WhyCS,
  title={Why colloidal systems can be described by statistical mechanics: some not very original comments on the Gibbs paradox},
  author={Daan Frenkel},
  journal={Molecular Physics},
  year={2014},
  volume={112},
  pages={2325 - 2329}
}
  • D. Frenkel
  • Published 1 December 2013
  • Physics
  • Molecular Physics
Colloidal particles are distinguishable. Moreover, their thermodynamic properties are extensive. Statistical mechanics predicts such behaviour if one accepts that the configurational integral of a system of N colloids must be divided by N!. In many textbooks, it is argued that the factor N! corrects for the fact that identical particles (in the quantum mechanical sense) are indistinguishable. Clearly, this argument does not apply to colloids. This article explains why, nevertheless, all is well… 
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