Journal of Mathematical Chemistry

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 297–315

Entropic representation in the theory of molecular electronic structure

Open Access
Original Paper


The entropic perspective on the molecular electronic structure is investigated. Information-theoretic description of electron probabilities is extended to cover the complex amplitudes (wave functions) of quantum mechanics. This analysis emphasizes the entropic concepts due to the phase part of electronic states, which generates the probability current density, thus allowing one to distinguish the information content of states generating the same electron density and differing in their current densities. The classical information measures of Fisher and Shannon, due to the probability/density distributions themselves, are supplemented by the nonclassical terms generated by the wave-function phase or the associated probability current. A complementary character of the Fisher and Shannon information measures is explored and the relationship between these classical information densities is derived. It is postulated to characterize also their nonclassical (phase/current-dependent) contributions. The continuity equations of the generalized information densities are examined and the associated nonclassical information sources are identified. The variational rules involving the quantum-generalized Shannon entropy, which generate the stationary and time-dependent Schrödinger equations from the relevant maximum entropy principles, are discussed and their implications for the system “thermodynamic” equilibrium states are examined. It is demonstrated that the lowest, stationary “thermodynamic” state differs from the true ground state of the system, by exhibiting the space-dependent phase, linked to the modulus part of the wave function, and hence also a nonvanishing probability current.


Electronic structure theory Information continuity equations Maximum entropy principle Nonclassical entropy Quantum Fisher information Quantum mechanics Schrödinger equation “Thermodynamic” states 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Theoretical ChemistryJagiellonian UniversityCracowPoland

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