The wave function as solution of the Schrödinger equation as the basis of quantum mechanics, has 3N spatial dimensions for an N-particle system. As such it is a computational impossibility as noted by Nobel Laureate Walter Kohn in his Nobel Lecture 1998:
- In general the many-dimensional wave function of a system of N electrons is not a legitimate scientific concept (for N > 10 say).
Nevertheless, physicists worship the 3N-dimensional wave function and believe it has a deep physical significance. In particular, it is believed that the atomic world consists of bosons represented by fully symmetric wave functions and fermions represented by fully anti-symmetric wave functions. In particular the periodic table is believed to result from the fact that electrons are fermions satisfying Pauli's exclusion principle as a consequence of anti-symmetry.
A periodic table based on bosons (such as photons) would be a trivial table with only one kind of atom.
But if the 3N-dimensional wave function is a monstrosity, then so must be the subdivision into fully symmetric and anti-symmetric wave functions and then also Pauli's exclusion principle.
In the alternative model under study in this sequence of posts, another explanation of the periodic table presents itself: In this model it is the repulsion between electrons which shapes the atomic shell structure starting from the Helium atom with two electrons repelled into opposite position around the kernel.
In other words, atoms with electrons without repulsion would be of one kind and thus correspond to bosonic atoms of one kind only capable of creating a trivial dull world.
We are thus led to the idea that it is the repulsion between electrons, which forms the atomic world of great variability creating a far from dull world of even greater variability by upscaling, and not any mystery of anti-symmetric wave functions which cannot explain e.g. the electron structure of Plutonium with N = 94.