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Specific Heat Capacity

Energy is required to raise the temperature of an object. How much energy is required depends on what the object is made of. If we are going to compare how much energy is required to heat an object we must consider we are comparing like-with-like. The specific heat capacity gives us the energy required to raise the temperature of unit mass by one-degree Centigrade.

The word specific in physics has a specific definition, it means a mass of 1kg.

To measure the energy required we use a source of heat, either electrical or chemical. The specific heat capacity is then the energy input = mass x specific heat capacity x the change in temperature.

Mathematically, Q=mcΔθ, where m is the mass of the object being heated, c is the specific heat capacity of the material the object is made from and δθ is temperature difference between the final and initial temperatures in K or °C.