Practicing the Correspondence Principle in the Old Quantum Theory

A Transformation through Implementation

  • Martin Jähnert

Part of the Archimedes book series (ARIM, volume 56)

About this book


This book presents a history of the correspondence principle from a new perspective. The author provides a unique exploration of the relation between the practice of theory and conceptual development in physics. In the process, he argues for a new understanding of the history of the old quantum theory and the emergence of quantum mechanics.

The analysis looks at how the correspondence principle was disseminated and how the principle was applied as a research tool during the 1920s. It provides new insights into the interaction between theoretical tools and scientific problems and shows that the use of this theoretical tool changed the tool itself in a process of transformation through implementation. This process, the author claims, was responsible for the conceptual development of the correspondence principle.

This monograph connects to the vast literature in the history of science, which analyzed theoretical practices as based on tacit knowledge, skills, and calculation techniques. It contributes to the historical understanding of quantum physics and the emergence of quantum mechanics. Studying how physicists used a set of tools to solve problems, the author spells out the ‟skillful guessing” that went into the making of quantum theoretical arguments and argues that the integration and implementation of technical resources was a central driving force for the conceptual and theoretical transformation in the old quantum theory.


Correspondence Principle in Copenhagen Practice of Theory and conceptual development Conceptual Development of the Correspondence Principle Quantum Theory and Quantum Mechanics History of Quantum Mechanics Niels Bohr's Adaptive (Re-)Formulation Extension of the Correspondence Principle Correspondence Principle in the Quantum Network Hund and the Ramsauer Effect Hund and the Non-deflection Hypothesis

Authors and affiliations

  • Martin Jähnert
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Philosophie, Literatur-, Wissenschafts- und Technikgeschichte Fachbereich Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, GermanyMax Planck Institute for the History of ScienceBerlinGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-13299-6
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-13300-9
  • Series Print ISSN 1385-0180
  • Series Online ISSN 2215-0064
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