boltzmanns constant

Discussion in 'Physics' started by haditya, Aug 28, 2004.

  1. haditya

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jan 19, 2004

    most of us are aware that boltzmann's constant k=R/N
    but historically the formula wasnt directly arrived at this.
    i need to know the exact physical significance of boltzmann's constant

    thanks a lot
  2. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    Interesting question :D

    I always thought that the value for Boltzmann's Constant was empirical (i.e. derived from experiment) however, due to the uncertainty factor of quantum mechanics this would seem a somewhat difficult task.

    A quick search of Wikepedia produced the following link:

    Boltzmann's Constant

    Note the following: The digits in parentheses are the uncertainty (standard deviation) in the last two digits of the measured value. In principle, the Boltzmann constant is a derived physical constant, as its value is determined by other physical constants. However, calculating the Boltzmann constant from first principles is far too complex to be done with current knowledge.

    What the final part of this statement about 'current knowledge' indicates, I'm not quite sure, but it seems that Boltmann's Constant is indeed calculated from (or at least in part) a Mathematical model (based on the comment 'first principles')