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Specific Heat Capacity

The temperature change caused by depositing a given amount of thermal energy in an object depends not only on the object’s mass, but also on what it is made of.Raising the temperature of a kilogram of water by one degree Celsius requires 4200 joules, butfor a kilogram of wood, only about 1700 joules are required. For iron the value is only 450 joules, while for lead, a mere 130 joules will suffice to accomplish the same one-degree temperature increase (per kilogram). Each ofthese numbers is called the specific heat capacity of the corresponding substance.

In general, the specific heat capacity is the energy required to raise the temperature, per kilogram of material, per degree of temperature increase.

perature, and Et for thermal energy. But the equation involves not T itself but the change in T during the energy-input process. The standard symbol for change is the Greek letter delta (∆),so the change in T is written ∆T.Similarly,the thermal energy input is the

ΔEt mΔT

Here,∆Et=thermal energy input m=mass,∆T=temperature change.

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