Specific Heat

The specific heat is the amount of heat per unit mass required to raise the temperature by one degree Celsius. The relationship between heat and temperature change is usually expressed in the form shown below where c is the specific heat. The relationship does not apply if a phase change is encountered, because the heat added or removed during a phase change does not change the temperature.


The specific heats of most solids at room temperature and above are nearly constant, in agreement with the Law of Dulong and Petit. At lower temperatures the specific heats drop as quantum processes become significant. The low temperature behavior is described by the Einstein-Debye model of specific heat.

TableSpecific heats of gasesSpecific heats of solids
Calculation
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Specific Heat

The specific heat is the amount of heat per unit mass required to raise the temperature by one degree Celsius. The relationship between heat and temperature change is usually expressed in the form shown below where c is the specific heat. The relationship does not apply if a phase change is encountered, because the heat added or removed during a phase change does not change the temperature.


Heat added = specific heat x mass x (tfinal - tinitial)

Enter the necessary data and then click on the active text above for the quantity you wish to calculate.

For a mass m = gm = kg

with specific heat c = cal/gm°C = joule/gm°C,

initial temperature Ti = °C = K = °F

and final temperature Tf = °C = K = °F,

the amount of heat added is

Q = calories = kcal = x 10^ calories.

Q = joules = x 10^ joules.

Calculation note: Unit conversions will be performed when you enter data, but the parameters will not be forced to be consistent until you click on the quantity you wish to calculate. Default values will be entered for unspecified parameters.

TableDiscussion of specific heat
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HyperPhysics***** Thermodynamics R Nave
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