### abstract

- Developing a mathematical approach to the local hard/soft acid/base principle requires an unambiguous definition for the local hardness. One such quantity, which has aroused significant interest in recent years, is the unconstrained local hardness. Key identities are derived for the unconstrained local hardness, δμ/δρ(r). Several identities are presented which allow one to determine the unconstrained local hardness either explicitly using the hardness kernel and the inverse-linear response function, or implicitly by solving a system of linear equations. One result of this analysis is that the problem of determining the unconstrained local hardness is infinitely ill-conditioned because arbitrarily small changes in electron density can cause enormous changes in the chemical potential. This is manifest in the exponential divergence of the unconstrained local hardness as one moves away from the system. This suggests that one should be very careful when using the unconstrained local hardness for chemical interpretation.