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Foundations of Physics

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 249–262 | Cite as

New information-theoretic foundations for quantum statistics

  • William Band
  • James L. Park
Article

Abstract

When the state of a physical system is not fully determined by available data, it should be possible nevertheless to make a systematic guess concerning the unknown state by applying the principles of information theory. The resulting theoretical blend of informational and mechanical constructs should then constitute a modern structure for statistical physics. Such a program has been attempted by a number of authors, most notably Jaynes, with seeming success. However, we demonstrated in a recent publication that the standard list of so-called “mutually exclusive and exhaustive” quantum states that is commonly employed by these authors is in fact not exhaustive. It follows that the information-theoretic foundations of quantum statistics must be reformulated. The present paper discusses the fundamental problems involved and establishes a format for the correct application of information theory to quantum mechanical situations.

Keywords

Statistical Physic Information Theory Quantum Statistic Physical System Fundamental Problem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1976

Authors and Affiliations

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

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