CHEM 101L Chapter Notes - Chapter 6.4: Heat Capacity

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CHEM 101: Defining Specific Heat Capacity and the Unique Properties of
Transition Metals in Heat Transfer
First off let us define what specific heat capacity is. The specific heat capacity in
physical terms is the amount of energy required in order to heat up 1 gram of
substance by 1 °C. The specific heat capacity is a specific constant for the
respective element/compound/substance we are referring to. Each state of a
substance also has its own unique specific heat capacity. For example the specific
heat capacity for liquid water is 4.184 J/g°C (which just so happens to be the
standard basis definition of specific heat capacity just as how 1.00 g/ml of water is
defined as the base reference for density) is different from the specific heat
capacity of steam (gaseous water).
As can be seen in the statement above, the units for specific heat capacity is J/g°C.
As also stated above the base standard for specific heat capacity is 4.184 J/g°C.
Initially the definition of specific heat capacity is 1 cal/g°C. Units for energy can
be calories or Joules. Joules is the SI unit for energy so we define 1 calorie as
4.184 Joules. Also calories does appear on nutrition facts, but nutrition facts have
capital Calories, really meaning they are kcal.
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