Q:

Do most metals have low specific heats compared to water?

A:

Quick Answer

Most metallic elements and compounds have a specific heat in the range of 0.1 to 0.5 J/g, whereas water has a specific heat of 4.17 J/g. Specific heat is a measurement of the energy required to increase the temperature of 1 gram of a substance by 1 degree Celsius.

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Full Answer

Hydrogen, with a specific heat of 14.3 J/g, has the highest heat resistance of any known element, and this makes any compound of hydrogen a fairly good heat insulator. Meanwhile, the low specific heat of metallic compounds is one of the traits that makes them useful in applications that require rapid exchanges of heat, such as cooking or in heat sinks.

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