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Bose-Einstein statistics, class of statistics that applies to elementary particles called bosons, which include the photon, pion, and the W and Z particles. Bosons have integral values of the quantum mechanical property called spin and are "gregarious" in the sense that an unlimited number of bosons can be placed in the same state. All of the particles that mediate the fundamental forces of nature are bosons. See elementary particles; Fermi-Dirac statistics; statistical mechanics.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia Copyright © 2004.

Licensed from Columbia University Press

Licensed from Columbia University Press

One of two possible ways (the other is Fermi-Dirac statistics) in which a collection of indistinguishable particles may occupy a set of available discrete energy states. The gathering of particles in the same state, which is characteristic of particles that obey Bose-Einstein statistics, accounts for the cohesive streaming of laser light and the frictionless creeping of superfluid helium (*see* superfluidity). The theory of this behaviour was developed in 1924–25 by Satyendra Nath Bose (1894–1974) and Albert Einstein. Bose-Einstein statistics apply only to those particles, called bosons, which have integer values of spin and so do not obey the Pauli exclusion principle.

Learn more about Bose-Einstein statistics with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.

See *Bose–Einstein*

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Last updated on Tuesday February 27, 2007 at 22:46:58 PST (GMT -0800)

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Last updated on Tuesday February 27, 2007 at 22:46:58 PST (GMT -0800)

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