Definitions

# heat capacity

Ratio of heat absorbed by a material to the change in temperature. It is usually expressed as calories per degree in terms of the amount of the material being considered. Heat capacity and its temperature variation depend on differences in energy levels for atoms. Heat capacities are measured with a calorimeter and are important as a means of determining the entropies of materials. Seealso specific heat.

Ratio of the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of a body one degree to that required to raise the temperature of an equal mass of water one degree. The term is also used to mean the amount of heat, in calories, required to raise the temperature of one gram of a substance by one Celsius degree.

or diminished capacity

In law, doctrine that absolves an accused person of part of the liability for his criminal act if he suffers from such abnormality of mind as to substantially impair his responsibility in committing or being a party to an alleged violation. The doctrine provides a mitigating defense in cases in which the mental disease or defect is not of such magnitude as to exclude criminal responsibility altogether. Diminished responsibility is most frequently asserted as a defense to murder charges that require proof of a particular mental state (e.g., premeditation). If diminished responsibility is shown, negating an element of the crime with which a defendant is charged, the defendant can be convicted only of a lesser offense that does not include the element. Although diminished responsibility is recognized as a defense in Britain, most other countries recognize only mental disease or abnormality of sufficient degree to sustain a defense of insanity.

Property of a pair of electric conductors separated by a nonconducting material (such as air) that permits storage of electric energy by the separation of electric charge, and that is measured by the amount of separated charge that can be stored per unit of electric potential between the conductors. If electric charge is transferred between two initially uncharged conductors, they become equally (but oppositely) charged. A potential difference is set up between them and some of the electricity can be stored. Capacitance math.C is the ratio of the amount of charge math.q on one of the conductors to the potential difference math.V between the conductors, or math.C = math.q/math.V. The unit of capacitance is coulombs per volt (C/V), or farads (F).

Capacity is the ability to hold, receive or absorb, or a measure thereof, similar to the concept of volume.

Capacity may also refer to:

• Capacity (economics), the point of production at which a firm or industry's average (or "per-unit") costs begin to rise, usually because some factor is fixed (often capital or land).
• Capacity (law), the legal ability to engage in certain acts, such as making a contract.
• In decision theory, a capacity is a subjective measure of likelihood of an event, similar to a membership function in fuzzy logic.