13. How To Measure Disorder   Previous PageNext Page

This is not quite correct, because we have overcounted. The answer of 3024 would be correct if the atoms had names or labels, and if arrangements of the type shown at the lower left really were different. But atoms have no labels.

If by some miraculous process we could photograph the atoms at a chosen instant and study them, we could tell the difference between the four arrangements at the upper left because the atoms would occupy different places.

However, we could see absolutely no difference in the twelve arrangements at the middle left, because one atom is just like every other atom of the same type. The most that we could say is that atoms were present at Positions 3, 4, 7, and 8 of our mini-universe.

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