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The Boltzmann constant

The Boltzmann constant (k or kB) is the physical constant relating temperature to energy. It is named after the Austrian physicist Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann.


Its experimentally determined value (in SI units, 2002 CODATA value) is:

k_B =1.380 6505(24) \times 10^{-23} \left. JK^{-1}\right.

 =8.617 343(15) \times 10^{-5} \left.eV\right. \left.K^{-1}\right.

History of Boltzmann's constant

"This constant is often referred to as Boltzmann's constant, although, to my knowledge, Boltzmann himself never introduced it - a peculiar state of affairs, which can be explained by the fact that Boltzmann, as appears from his occasional utterances, never gave thought to the possibility of carrying out an exact measurement of the constant."

Max Planck, Nobel Lecture, June 2, 1920