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We formulate and prove a quantum Shannon-McMillan theorem. The theorem demonstrates the significance of the von Neumann entropy for translation invariant ergodic quantum spin systems on n-dimensional lattices: the entropy gives the logarithm of the essential number of eigenvectors of the system on large boxes. The one-dimensional case covers quantum information sources and is basic for coding theorems.arXiv:math/0207121v3 fatcat:d5cty6yu4vdzjibwifg6eu2ncq