What does it mean to have high heat capacity?
heat capacity. In physics, the capability of a substance to absorb energy in the form of heat for a given increase in temperature. Materials with high heat capacities, such as water, require greater amounts of heat to increase their temperatures than do substances with low heat capacities, such as metals.
We now define the specific heat capacity of a substance as follows: The specific heat capacity of a substance is the quantity of energy needed to change the temperature of 1kg of the substance by 1°C. To change the temperature of a body means to change the average kinetic energy of its particles.
- Often we think that heat and temperature are the same thing. However, this is not the case. Heat and temperature are related to each other, but are different concepts. Heat is the total energy of molecular motion in a substance while temperature is a measure of the average energy of molecular motion in a substance.
- The hotter an object is, the faster the motion of the molecules inside it. Thus, the heat of an object is the total energy of all the molecular motion inside that object. Temperature, on the other hand, is a measure of the average heat or thermal energy of the molecules in a substance.
- The specific heat of water is 1 calorie/gram °C = 4.186 joule/gram °C which is higher than any other common substance. As a result, water plays a very important role in temperature regulation.
But there is difference between heat/ thermal capacity and specific heat capacity. On the other hand, specific heat capacity, also referred to as the specific heat of a material, is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of an object per unit mass of that object.
- But there is difference between heat/ thermal capacity and specific heat capacity. On the other hand, specific heat capacity, also referred to as the specific heat of a material, is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of an object per unit mass of that object.
- Difference Between Conduction, Convection and Radiation. While conduction is the transfer of heat energy by direct contact, convection is the movement of heat by actual motion of matter; radiation is the transfer of energy with the help of electromagnetic waves.
- In heat transfer analysis, thermal diffusivity is the thermal conductivity divided by density and specific heat capacity at constant pressure. It measures the rate of transfer of heat of a material from the hot side to the cold side. Thermal diffusivity is usually denoted α but a, κ, K, and D are also used.
For example, a substance with a low heat capacity, such as iron, will heat and cool quickly, while a substance with a high heat capacity, such as water, heats and cools slowly. It takes a great deal of heat energy to change the temperature of water compared to metals.
- Specific heat is a property of a material. A low value means it doesn't take much heat to raise its temperature. The "specific" part means it's on a per mass basis. How much heat per gram is needed to increase the temperature one degree Celsius, for example.
- Land surfaces absorb much more solar radiation than water. This is due to the fact that most land surfaces are darker than water which of course means more absorption of solar radiation and heat. Water reflects most solar radiation that reaches its surface back to the atmosphere.
- As different substances have different molecular structures, different strengths between atoms and different densities, it will take more energy to heat them up. The specific heat is the amount of heat per unit mass required to raise the temperature by one degree Celsius.
Updated: 6th October 2018