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Understanding Specific Heat Capacity

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on 2 June 2014

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Transcript of Understanding Specific Heat Capacity

Heat capacity

The heat capacity,C is the amount of heat that must be supplied to the object to increase its temperature by 1°C.

SI Unit for heat capacity, C : J/K (joules per kelvin)
Specific heat capacity is the amount of heat that must be supplied to increase the temperature by 1 °C for a mass of 1 kg of the substance.

Specific heat capacity, c = Q / mθ

SI unit: = J kg-1°C-1

Application of Specific Heat Capacity
(a) Water as a coolant in a car engine
Understanding Specific Heat Capacity
Heat capacity depends on:

temperature of an object
mass of object
type of material
Specific Heat Capacity, C
Different materials have different specific heat capacities:
Specific heat capacity of aluminium: 897 J/kg.K
Specific heat capacity of water: 4181 J/kg.K
Specific heat capacity of diamond: 509J/kg.K
Important formula:

C of water= 4186 J/kg.K
C of iron= 450 J/kg.K
equal mass,m
Big value of c = slower increase in temperature
Small value of c = faster increase in temperature
Water is a good example of substance with a high specific capacity.
So water can be a useful a cooling agent.
The hot water flows to the radiator where heat is lost to the cooler air that flows through the cooling fans.
Therefore, water acts as a heat reservoir as it can absorb a great amount of heat before it boils
A water pump circulates the water.
Heat produced by the engine is absorbed by the water that flows along the space in engine walls.
It is used as a cooling agent to prevent overheating of the engine.
Let's look at some of the application!
(b)Cooking utensils
a) Copper base
Has a
low specific heat capacity
The pot becomes hot very quickly.
This enables quick cooking of the food in the pot.

c) Metal body
A metal has a
low specific heat capacity
and its temperature increases easily when heated.
The pot becomes hot quickly.
This is because only a little amount of heat is needed.
b) Plastic handle
The handles of pots and pans are usually made of materials of
high specific heat capacity

The handle will not become too hot when heat is absorbed.
Poor heat conductor.
What is it
c) Sea breeze
Land has a
smaller specific heat capacity
than sea.
The land is heated to a higher temperature than the sea because
water has a higher specific heat capacity
This causes the air above the land to be hotter than the air above the sea.
Air above the land is heated up and rises.
Cooler air from the sea moves from towards the land as sea breeze.
d) Land breeze
At night the air above the land and the sea release heat to the atmosphere.
The temperature of the sea decrease more slowly than temperature of the land because
water has a higher specific heat capacity than earth
land become colder than the sea
. The hot air above the sea flows upwards and the cool air from the land flows towards the sea.
A land breeze is produced due to the movement of air from the land towards the sea.
Prepared by:

Prepared for:
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