Specific Heat Capacity
Contents
Key Stage 4
Meaning
Specific heat capacity is the energy required to increase the temperature of 1kg of a material by 1°C.
About Specific Heat Capacity
- 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 = 1510x10^{3}J 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