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spin-statistics theorem

in quantum mechanics, fundamental mathematical proof that subatomic particles having integral values of spin (such as photons and helium-4 atoms) must be described by Bose-Einstein statistics (q.v.) and that subatomic particles having half-integral values of spin (such as electrons and protons) must be described by Fermi-Dirac statistics (q.v.).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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