What Does Specific Heat Mean?


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Arun Raj answered
Specific heat is defined as the heat supplied to raise the temperature of one gram of a substance by one degree centigrade. The heat is measured in calories.

Specific heat is the proportion of the heat capacity of a substance to the heat capacity of a substance used as reference, usually water. This heat capacity is the quantity of heat required to change the temperature of a unit mass by 1 degree Celsius.

The exact heat of water is 1 calorie/gram °C = 4.186 joule/gram °C, which is higher than any other ordinary substance. Water, thus plays a very significant role in temperature regulation. The specific heat per gram for water is much higher than that for a metal. The specific heat of some other matter relative to water will be numerically equivalent to its heat capacity. Since the heat capacities of various substances vary with temperature change, the temperatures of both, the particular substance and the reference substance must be known in order to give an accurate value for the specific heat.

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