The addition of heat raises the temperature of a material by a certain amount. The amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of a unit mass or volume of material by one degree is called the specific heat of the material.
Continue ReadingSpecific heat is the heat capacity of a material per unit mass or volume. Specifying that it takes a certain amount of heat to uniformly raise the temperature of a material by one degree is an expression of the heat capacity of the material. Meanwhile, specifying the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of a single ounce or single pound of material by one degree is an expression of specific heat. The specific heat capacity of a material is usually calculated by dividing the amount of heat added to raise the temperature of a material by the product of the material mass and the difference in temperature.
This relation does not apply if there is a phase change in the material that accompanies this temperature change, as phase changes require additional energy of their own. The heat energy required to change a unit mass of material from one phase to another is called the latent heat. The latent heat of fusion is specified for materials changing from solid to liquid, whereas the latent heat of vaporization is specified for materials changing from liquid to gas.
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