boltzmanns constant

Thread Starter


Joined 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


Joined 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')