Foundations of Physics

, Volume 7, Issue 9–10, pp 705–721 | Cite as

Rigorous information-theoretic derivation of quantum-statistical thermodynamics. II

  • William Band
  • James L. Park


Part I of the present work outlined the rigorous application of information theory to a quantum mechanical system in a thermodynamic equilibrium state. The general formula developed there for the best-guess density operator\(\hat \rho\) was indeterminate because it involved in an essential way an unspecified prior probability distribution over the continuumDH of strong equilibrium density operators. In Part II mathematical evaluation of\(\hat \rho\) is completed after an epistemological analysis which leads first to the discretization ofDH and then to the adoption of a suitable indifference axiom to delimit the set of admissible prior distributions. Finally, quantal formulas for information-theoretic and thermodynamic entropies are contrasted, and the entire work is summarized.


Entropy Mechanical System Prior Distribution Thermodynamic Equilibrium Prior Probability 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corp 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Band
    • 1
  • James L. Park
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsWashington State UniversityPullman

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