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Chapter 4
Heat

Specific Heat Capacity (I)

Hot metal rods of the same temperature penetrate a block of wax to different depths.

A 5 cm iron rod penetrates deeper than a 5 cm aluminium

rod due to its lower heat capacity.

A 5 cm aluminium rod penetrates deeper than a 3 cm

aluminium rod due to its bigger mass.

If two 5 cm aluminium rods of different temperatures are

placed on the block of wax, the hotter aluminium rod will penetrate deeper.

Hence, the heat content of a substance depends on its

• Material • Mass • Temperature

Aluminium rod
5 cm
Aluminium
Iron rod
rod
5 cm
3 cm
Block of wax

Specific Heat Capacity, c, of a substance is the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of the substance through a temperature of one degree Celsius. Unit for c is J kg 1 o C 1 (or J kg 1 K 1 ).

Heat energy = Mass × specific heat capacity × temperature change

Q = mcθ

Solid

Specific heat capacity,

(J kg 1 ºC 1 )

130

Silver

235

Copper

400

Aluminium

890

Ice

2 100

Liquid

Specific heat capacity,

(J kg 1 ºC 1 )

Mercury
140
Benzene
1
740
Oil
1
890
Ethanol
2
450
Water
4
200

Determination Of Specific Heat Capacity Of A Solid

If there is no heat loss to the surroundings,

Heat gain by aluminium block = Electric energy supplied

Transformer

Switch
Rheostat
Switch
block
A

Thermometer

Aluminium

Insulation

mcθ = VIt c = VIt

mθ

m: mass of aluminium block c: specific heat capacity of aluminium θ: temperature change V: voltage supplied I: current supplied t: time taken

Electric

heater

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