## Illustration 19.1: Specific Heat

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Specific heat (which is sometimes also called the specific heat capacity) describes how much heat is required to increase the temperature of a given quantity of material. In this Illustration a blue mass sits in an insulated oven **(time is given in minutes and temperature is given in degrees Celsius)**. Restart. Assume that the block absorbs all the heat from the heater. Not surprisingly, a higher-powered heater (the amount of heat delivered/second) will result in a higher temperature of the blue mass during the same time interval. Notice that as you change the mass of the object, the temperature change is different (for a given power of the oven). The quantitative description of this is given by the equation

Q = mc (T_{f} - T_{i})

where Q is the heat, m is the mass, c is the specific heat, and T is the temperature (with subscripts indicating final and initial temperatures). Note that if you double the mass, for the same total heat delivered, the *temperature change *will be cut in half. Different materials have different values of specific heat (or specific heat capacity). Water has a much higher specific heat than copper, for example. This is why it doess not take long for a copper kettle on the stove to increase in temperature in comparison with the water inside. Furthermore, with a full kettle of water, the water is more massive, so it also takes longer to reach an acceptable final temperature (usually around 100^{o}C to boil).

Note that the specific heat usually has units of joules/(kg ⋅ C^{o}), where C^{o} represents a *change in temperature * *(your text book may or may not follow this notation)*.

Illustration authored by Anne J. Cox.

Physlets were developed at Davidson College and converted from Java to JavaScript using the SwingJS system developed at St. Olaf College.

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