kT (also written as kBT) is the product of the Boltzmann constant, k (or kB), and the temperature, T. This product is used in physics as a scale factor for energy values in molecular-scale systems (sometimes it is used as a unit of energy), as the rates and frequencies of many processes and phenomena depend not on their energy alone, but on the ratio of that energy and kT, that is, on E / kT (see Arrhenius equation, Boltzmann factor). For a system in equilibrium in canonical ensemble, the probability of the system being in state with energy E is proportional to e−ΔE / kT.
|Approximate values of kT at 298 K||Units|
|kT = 4.11×10−21||J|
|kT = 4.114||pN⋅nm|
|kT = 9.83×10−22||cal|
|kT = 25.7||meV|
|kT/hc ≈ 207||cm−1|
|kT/e = 25.7||mV|
|RT = kT ⋅ NA = 2.479||kJ⋅mol−1|
|RT = 0.593||kcal⋅mol−1|
|h/kT = 0.16||ps|
More fundamentally, kT is the amount of heat required to increase the thermodynamic entropy of a system, in natural units, by one nat. E / kT therefore represents an amount of entropy per molecule, measured in natural units.
RT is the product of the molar gas constant, R, and the temperature, T. This product is used in physics as a scaling factor for energy values in macroscopic scale (sometimes it is used as a pseudo-unit of energy), as many processes and phenomena depend not on the energy alone, but on the ratio of energy and RT, i.e. E/RT. The SI units for RT are joules per mole (J/mol).
- kT = RT/NA
- "Google Unit Converter". Google. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
- Atkins' Physical Chemistry, 9th ed., by P. Atkins and J. dePaula, Oxford University Press