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The New Student's Reference Work/Specific Heat

< The New Student's Reference Work


Specific Heat, a term used in the physical sciences and in engineering to denote the quantity of heat necessary to raise the temperature of one gram of a substance through one degree centigrade at any given temperature.  This quantity of heat is known as the specific heat of that substance at that temperature.  If we use the calorie as the unit of heat, an exactly equivalent definition of specific heat is the following:  The ratio between the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of any body one degree and that required to raise the temperature of an equal mass of water one degree.

The following is a table of specific heats of some of the more common substances:

Aluminum . . . . . . . . . 0.214 Tin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.056
Sulphur . . . . . . . . . . . 0.203 Iodine . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.054
Iron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.114 Antimony . . . . . . . . . 0.051
Copper . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.095 Mercury . . . . . . . . . . 0.033
Zinc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.095 Platinum . . . . . . . . . 0.032
Silver . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.057 Lead . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.031

See Heat.