# Specific Heat Capacity

## Key Stage 4

### Meaning

Specific heat capacity is the energy required to increase the temperature of 1kg of a material by 1°C.

The SI Units of specific heat capacity are J/kg°C.
Specific heat capacity describes how easily the temperature of a material can be changed.
Different materials have a different specific heat capacity.
Materials with a low specific heat capacity are generally good thermal conductors and materials with a high specific heat capacity are generally good thermal insulators.

### Equation

NB: You do not need to remember the equation for specific heat capacity.

Specific Heat Capacity = (Energy Transferred)/[(Mass) x (Temperature Change)]

$$c = \frac{E}{m \Delta \theta}$$

Where

$$c$$ = The Specific Heat Capacity of the material.

$$E$$ = The Energy transferred to the object, by heating.

$$m$$ = The mass of the object.

$$\Delta \theta$$ = The Temperature change of the object.

### Example Calculations

 8.0kg of water is heated with an energy of 1510kJ from a temperature of 11°C to a temperature of 56°C. Calculate the specific heat capacity of the water correct to two significant figures. A 989g block of metal is heated using an immersion heater from 24°C to 39°C. A Joulemeter connected to the immersion heater reads 13,000J. Calculate the specific heat capacity of the metal correct to two significant figures. 1. State the known quantities in SI Units E = 1510kJ = 1510x103J m = 8.0kg Δθ = 56-11 = 45°C 1. State the known quantities in SI Units E = 13,000J m = 989g = 0.989kg Δθ = 39-24 = 15°C 2. Substitute the numbers into the equation and solve. $$c = \frac{E}{m \Delta \theta}$$ $$c = \frac{1510 \times 10^3}{8.0 \times 45}$$ $$c = 4194.4J/kg ^\circ C$$ $$c \approx 4200J/kg ^\circ C$$ 2. Substitute the numbers into the equation and solve. $$c = \frac{E}{m \Delta \theta}$$ $$c = \frac{13000}{0.989 \times 15}$$ $$c = 876.306033J/kg ^\circ C$$ $$c \approx 880J/kg ^\circ C$$

### References

#### AQA

Specifi heat capacity, pages 22-5, 92-3, GCSE Physics; Student Book, Collins, AQA
Specific heat capacity, page 187, GCSE Chemistry; Student Book, Collins, AQA
Specific heat capacity, pages 12, 73-4, GCSE Physics, Hodder, AQA
Specific heat capacity, pages 170, 171, GCSE Combined Science; The Revision Guide, CGP, AQA
Specific heat capacity, pages 170, 171, GCSE Combined Science; The Revision Guide, CGP, AQA
Specific heat capacity, pages 268, 325-6, GCSE Combined Science Trilogy 1, Hodder, AQA
Specific heat capacity, pages 29-31, 100, GCSE Combined Science Trilogy; Physics, CGP, AQA
Specific heat capacity, pages 30-31, GCSE Physics; Third Edition, Oxford University Press, AQA
Specific heat capacity, pages 30-32, 110, GCSE Physics; The Complete 9-1 Course for AQA, CGP, AQA
Specific heat capacity; calculating temperature of an object, page 14, GCSE Physics, Hodder, AQA
Specific heat capacity; investigating, pages 30, 31, GCSE Combined Science Trilogy; Physics, CGP, AQA
Specific heat capacity; investigating, pages 31, 32, GCSE Physics; The Complete 9-1 Course for AQA, CGP, AQA
Specific heat capacity; investigation of, pages 269-70, GCSE Combined Science Trilogy 1, Hodder, AQA
Specific heat capacity; measurement of, pages 12-13, GCSE Physics, Hodder, AQA
Specific heat capacity; of water, page 326, GCSE Combined Science Trilogy 1, Hodder, AQA
Specific heat capacity; working out the temperature of a hot object, pages 270-1, GCSE Combined Science Trilogy 1, Hodder, AQA

#### Edexcel

Specific heat capacity, page 186, GCSE Physics, Pearson Edexcel
Specific heat capacity, page 95, GCSE Physics; The Revision Guide, CGP, Edexcel
Specific heat capacity, pages 202, GCSE Combined Science; The Revision Guide, CGP, Edexcel
Specific heat capacity, pages 304-306, GCSE Physics, CGP, Edexcel