I'm a high schooler and am introduced to the basics of thermodynamics where I find $k_{B}$ as the Boltzmann Constant. It can be seen in the Maxwell's Distribution and appears once again in the ideal gas equation.

I'm eager to know where on earth does this constant arise in the first place?

Thank you.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Fully answered here: hsm.stackexchange.com/questions/6925/… $\endgroup$
    – DanielC
    Nov 20, 2019 at 18:29
  • $\begingroup$ I'm pretty sure that the constant is all over the place, but the two areas that come to my mind first are thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. $\endgroup$ Nov 20, 2019 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


Okay here's all that you need to know about the Boltzmann constant.

The Boltzmann constant like most other constants in physics is a conversion factor ~Leonard Susskind

If you remember, you should have first encountered the Boltzmann constant in Kinetic Theory of Gases. However originally the Boltzmann constant made its debut in the Boltzmann distribution

The term however was coined by Maxwell in his paper regarding blackbodies, till then it was just known to be some constant.


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