Proportionality constants equal to the initial rate of a reaction divided by the concentration of the reactant(s); e.g., in the reaction A → B _ C, the rate of the reaction equals -d[A]/dt = k1[A]. The rate constant k1 is a unimolecular rate constant since there is only one molecular species reacting and has units of reciprocal time (e.g., sec-1). For the reverse reaction, B _ C → A, the rate equals -d[B]/dt = d[A]/dt = k2[B][C]. The rate constant k2 is a bimolecular rate constant and has units of reciprocal concentration-time (e.g., m-1 sec-1).
Synonym: velocity constants.