We develop a theoretical framework for describing steady-state quantum transport phenomena, based on the general maximum-entropy principle of nonequilibrium statistical mechanics. The general form of the many-body density matrix is derived, which contains the invariant part of the current operator that guarantees the nonequilibrium and steady-state character of the ensemble. Several examples of the theory are given, demonstrating the relationship of the present treatment to the widely used scattering-state occupation schemes at the level of the self-consistent single-particle approximation. The latter schemes are shown not to maximize the entropy, except in certain limits
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.