Specific Heat Capacity

Specific heat capacity!

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What is it?

Specific heat capacity tells you how much energy is needed to raise the temperature of 1kg of a substance by 1 degree celsius. 

It's a measure of how much energy something can store. 

Specific heat capacity is measured in J/Kg degrees celsius. 

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Equation

Energy = Mass * Specific Heat Capacity * Temperature change

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Worked Example

How much energy is needed to raise the temperature of some metal weighing 280 grammes from 30 degrees celsius to 60 degrees celsius if the specific heat capacity is 4200 j/kg degrees celsius? 

  • Formula: E = mass * specific heat capacity * temperature change
  • Mass = 280g -> 0.28kg 
  • Specific heat capacity = 4200 j/kg degrees celsius
  • Temperature change = 60 - 30
    = 30 degrees celsius. 
  • 0.28 * 4200 * 30 = 35280 joules.  
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Worked Example 2

What is the specific heat capacity of an object if the temperature drops from 50 degrees celsius to 15 degrees celsius, the object loses 83292 joules of energy and the object weights 678 grammes? 

  • Formula: E= mass * temperature change * specific heat capacity
  • Specific heat capacity = Energy transferred/mass * temperature change
  • Energy transferred = 83292 j 
  • Mass = 678g ->0.678 kg
  • Temperature change = 50-15
    =35 degrees celsius. 
  • O.678 * 35 = 20.34
  • 83292/20.34 = 4095 (rounded) j/kg degrees celsius  
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