Specific heat capacity

Specific heat - Definition

The specific heat (symbol c), it is appropriate to call specific heat capacity is determined by the amount of energy to be provided by heat exchange to raise a degree of the temperature of the unit of mass of a substance.

The unit of the international system is therefore the joule per kilogram kelvin, J · kg−1 · K−1. The determination of the thermal capacity values of substances is a matter of calorimetry.

Notes: we also define molar thermal capacities (values related to the unit of matter, i.e. 1 mole; it is necessary to distinguish the capacities at constant volume and the capacities at constant pressure (the difference being particularly important for gases).

In other words, specific heat capacity is the amount of heat that one gram of a substance must absorb for its temperature to rise by one degree Celsius. It can also be the amount of heat that one gram of this substance has to lose in order for its temperature to drop by one degree Celsius.

The table below gives a list of the specific heat capacity of various elements, this measured under standard conditions, that is to say at 25 ° C and 101.3 kPa.

Name Specific heat capacity
(J / g ° C)
Name Specific heat capacity
(J / g ° C)
Aluminium 0,897 Krypton 0,248
Silver 0,235 Magnesium 1,023
Argon 0,520 Manganese 0,479
Nitrogen 1,040 Mercury 0,140
Beryllium 1,825 Neon 1,030
Boron 1,026 Nickel 0,444
Carbon (graphite) 0,709 Octosulfur 0,710
Dibroma 0,474 Gold 0,129
Chlorine 0,479 Platinum 0,133
Difluor 0,824 Lead 0,129
Dihydrogen 14,304 Radon 0,094
Iodine 0,214 Scandium 0,568
Dioxygen 0,918 Selenium 0,321
Chromium 0,449 Silicon 0,705
Cobalt 0,421 Tetraphosphorus 0,769
Copper 0,385 Titanium 0,523
Tin 0,228 Tungsten 0,132
Iron 0,449 Uranium 0,116
Gallium 0,371 Vanadium 0,489
Germanium 0,320 Xenon 0,158
Helium 5,193 Zinc 0,388

The table below gives a list of the specific heat capacity of various liquid substances, this measured under standard conditions, i.e. at 25 ° C and 101.3 kPa.

Name Specific heat capacity
(J / g ° C)
Name Specific heat capacity
(J / g ° C)
Antifreeze 2,20 Hexane 2,27
Water 4,19 Oil 1,29
Ethanol 2,50 Mercury 0,139
Ether 2,20 Octane 0,140
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