, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 83–92 | Cite as

The quantitative epistemological content of Bohr's Correspondence Principle

  • Arthur Komar


The basic dynamical quantities of classical mechanics, such as position, linear momentum, angular momentum and energy, obtain their fundamental epistomological content by means of their intimate relationship to the symmetries of the space-time manifold which is the arena of physics. The program of canonical quantization can be understood as a two stage process. The first stage is Bohr's Correspondence Principle, whereby the basic dynamical quantities of the quantum theory are required to retain precisely the same relationship to the symmetries of the space-time manifold as do their classical counterparts, thereby preserving their epistemological, as well as measurement-theoretic, significance. Having so identified the basic dynamical variables, functions of these may now be used to identify the subtler symmetries of the proper canonical group. The second and determining stage of the quantization program requires the establishment of a correspondence between some of these subtler symmetries of the classical theory and related symmetries of the quantum theory, the relationship being determined by a common algebraic form for their defining functions.


Angular Momentum Quantum Theory Classical Theory Classical Mechanic Stage Process 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Co 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur Komar
    • 1
  1. 1.Belfer Graduate School of ScienceYeshiva UniversityUSA

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