Specific Heat Capacity

1. Specific heat capacity, c, of a body is the heat that is needed to increase the heat of a unit of mass or the substance by 1°C or 1K.

2. The unit of specific heat capacity is Jkg-1°C-1.

3. For example, the specific heat capacity of water is 4200 Jkg-1°C-1 . This means that 4200J of heat is needed to increase the temperature of 1 Kg of water by 1°C.

4. Therefore, when a body of a mass m and specific heat capacity, c, absorbs a quantity of Heat, H, then its heat will increase by θ.

5. Therefore H = mc θ.

6. On the contrary, when the heat of a body falls by θ, the quantity of heat that disappears (lost) is also H = mc θ.

7. The specific heat capacity is dependent upon the type of substances. Different substances have different specific heat capacity.

8. By knowing the specific heat capacity, we can determine the mass and also the change of temperature of a body if we know the amount of heat that is transferred.

9. Total heat transferred H = mc θ.

10. Generally, liquid has more specific heat capacity than solids. This means that liquids need more heat energy than solids for the same rise in temperature.

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