Specific heat capacity

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Specific Heat capacity is the slope of the internal energy due to random motion of atoms in a sample as a function of Temperature, normalized by dividing by the mass of the sample. Because the internal energy curve is normally almost linear, it can by approximated by measuring the heat required to raise the temperature of 1 kg of a substance by 1oC (or one degree Kelvin). The SI units of measurement for this are Jg-1K-1.

Factors that influence heat capacity measurements:

  • The heat of the substance. For example, measure the heat capacity of water produces different results if you start at 20oC, or 60oC.
  • Inter-molecular forces. If a substance has relatively strong intermolecular forces (such ashydrogen bonding in water), then the heat capacity is liable to be higher. In the case of solids this does not apply.

Heat capacity can be measured using Calorimetry

Also see the Heat Capacity section of Temperature.