Kramers's help contributed greatly to one particularly significant paper: "On the Quantum Theory of Line Spectra." This paper elaborated on the correspondence principle, a concept first introduced by Bohr in 1913. In a general sense, the correspondence principle stated that any new scientific theory must be able to explain all the phenomena which a preceding theory explained. Coming at a time when atomic phenomena were puzzling scientists everywhere, the correspondence principle served as a guideline for new theories: they had to account not only for activity at the atomic level but be applicable to conventional phenomena as well, since classical physics had been successful in doing so. Using this principle, Bohr and Kramers successfully investigated such details as the fine structure of spectra and went on to show how atomic radiation could be reconciled with classical laws regarding the motion of
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