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Definition of Heat Capacity

Heat capacity is an important property of materials that must be considered in engineering devices, planning a scientific experiment and keeping your lunch cold.

There are three main types of heat capacity, the understanding of which will
expand your ability to take advantage of this property of matter.

Definition
1. A material's heat capacity is a measure of how much energy must be exchanged between an object and its environment to produce a change in temperature. In other words, it is a measure of an object's "capacity" to hold "heat." Materials with high heat capacities, such as water, require large amounts of energy to produce a small temperature change. Significance 2. Gardeners shield their tomatoes with water-walls, and during the Middle Ages, a lady-in-waiting put hot rocks into her master's bed. Both practices rely on the ability of water and stone to hold heat very well, a property owing to the fact that they have a high heat capacity.

Heat capacity is used for much more than saving tomatoes or keeping feet warm. It is an essential parameter considered in many fields of engineering from architecture to aerodynamics.

Heat Capacity
Heat capacity is the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of an object by 1 oC (or 1 K).

Types of Heat Capacity


3. The general term "heat capacity" includes three more specific, often confused, terms. These are molar heat capacity, specific heat and just heat capacity.

Molar Heat Capacity and Specific Heat


4. A substance's molar specific heat capacity is the amount of energy required to raise one mole of that substance 1 degree Celsius. A mole specifies a number of objects, as does a dozen, except a mole equals 6.02 x 10^23 objects instead of 12. Because of the way the mole is defined, one mole of a substance is equal to that substance's atomic or molecular mass in grams.

The more general term "specific heat" usually refers to the amount of energy required to raise a certain mass of material, usually a kilogram, 1 degree Celsius. This is probably the most common use of the term "heat capacity."

Both molar heat capacity and specific heat are intrinsic properties of a substance; that is, they are independent of the amount of material you have on hand.

Heat Capacity

Mathematical definition of heat capacity


An object's heat capacity, C, is the product of its specific heat capacity (the amount of heat required to raise 1 kg of the material 1 degree C) and its mass in kg. Heat capacity is an extensive property of a substance. That is, its value depends on how much substance you have. For example, the heat capacity of a 20 oz. soda is exactly double that of a 10 oz. soda.

Mathematical Definition and Theory


5. Mathematically, heat capacity is defined as the first order partial derivative of the change in heat of an object with respect to the object's change in temperature, all else being held constant. The root of what determines a substance's heat capacity is a course in statistical thermodynamics. However, there is a general rule: the larger and more free molecules are, the greater their heat capacity will be. In other words, the more degrees of freedom the atoms or molecules making up a substance have, the greater the heat capacity will be.

Examples of Heat Capacity in Use


6. Metals tend to have very low heat capacities compared to nonmetals. For example, 1 kg of copper has a heat capacity of 394 Joules per Celsius, while 1 kg of marble has a heat capacity of 880. Thus, stone can hold much more heat than metal.

The definition of a calorie is based on the heat capacity of water. A dietary Calorie (note the capital C) is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 kg of water 1 degree. Therefore, if all of the Calories in a Twinkie (150) went toward heating 1 liter of water at room temperature, say at 22 degrees Celsius, then the Twinkie would have enough energy to raise the temperature of the water to boiling and then some.

Heat capacity

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Specific Heat Capacity


The amount of heat required to change the temperature of 1 kg of a substance by 1oC.

Formula of Specific Heat Capacity

Example 1 How much thermal energy is required to raise the temperature of a 2 kg aluminium block from 25 C to 30 C? [The specific heat capacity of aluminium is 900 Jkg-1
o

C-1]

Answer: Mass, m = 2kg Specific heat capacity, c = 900 Jkg-1 oC-1 Temperature change, = 30 - 25 = 5 oC Thermal energy required, Q = mc = (2)(900)(5) = 9000J.

Conversion Of Electrical Energy Into Thermal Energy

Example 2 An electric heater supplies 5 kW of power to a tank of water. Assume all the energy supplied is converted into heat energy and the energy losses to the surrounding is negligible. How long will it take to heat 500 kg of water in the tank from 25 to 100 C? [Specific heat capacity of water = 4200 J kg-1 oC-1] Answer: P = 5000W m = 500kg c = 4200 J kg-1 oC-1 = 100 - 25 = 75oC t=? We assume, all the electrical energy supplied = heat energy absorbed by the water Pt = mc (5000) t = (500)(4200)(75) t = 31500s = 525 minutes = 8 hours 45 minutes (Practically the time can be much longer than this because a lot of heat may be losses to the surrounding.)

Conversion of Gravitational Energy into Thermal Energy

Example 3 A lead shot of mass 5g is placed at the bottom of a vertical cylinder that is 1m long and closed at both ends. The cylinder is inverted so that the shot falls 1 m. By how much will the temperature of the shot increase if this process is repeated 100 times? [The specific heat capacity of lead is 130Jkg-1K-1] Answer: m = 5g h = 1m 100 = 100m g = 10 ms-2 c = 130Jkg-1K-1 =? In this case, the energy conversion is from potential energy to heat energy. We assume that all potential energy is converted into heat energy. Therefore mgh = mc gh = c (10)(100) = (130) = 7.69 oC

Conversion Of Kinetic Energy Into Thermal Energy

Mixing 2 Liquid

Example 4 What will be the final temperature if 500 cm3 of water at 0 C is added to 200cm3 of water at 90 C? [Density of water = 1gcm-3] Answer: The density of water is 1g/cm3, which means the mass of 1 cm3 of water is equal to 1g. Let the final temperature = m1 = 500g = 0.5kg c1 = c 1 = - 0 = m2 = 200g = 0.2kg c2 = c 2 = 90 - m1c11 = m2c22 (0.5) c ( ) = (0.2) c ( 90 - ) 0.5 = 18 - 0.2 0.5 + 0.2 = 18 0.7 = 18 = 25.71 oC

Specific heat capacity of water If you give same amount of heat to different type of matters you observe that changes in their temperatures are different. For instance, all you experience that given an equal amount of heat to metal spoons and wooden spoons, metal spoon has greater change in its temperature. Thus, most of the housewives use wooden or plastic spoons while cooking. These examples show that each matter has its own characteristics to absorb heat. We call this concept as specific heat capacity of the matters. It is the distinguishing property of matters. We show it with the letter c and give the definition of it as, heat required to increase temperature of unit mass 1 C.On the contrary, heat capacity of the system is defined as heat required increasing the temperature of whole substance and we show it with C. C=m.c where m is the mass of the substance and c is the specific heat of the matter.

Specific heat capacity

Measurement of the specific heat capacity of a metal by an electrical method

Apparatus Joulemeter, block of metal, heating coil to match, beaker, lagging, thermometer accurate to 0.1 C, glycerol, electronic balance and a low voltage a.c. supply.

Procedure 1. Find the mass of the metal block m . 2. Set up the apparatus as shown in the diagram. 3. Record the initial temperature q1 of the metal block. 4. Plug in the joulemeter and switch it on. 5. Zero the joulemeter and allow current to flow until there is a temperature rise of 10 C. 6. Switch off the power supply, allow time for the heat energy to spread throughout the metal block and record the highest temperature q2. 7. The rise in temperature Dq is therefore q2 q1. 8. Record the final joulemeter reading Q .

Results Mass of metal block m =

Initial temperature of the block q1 = Final temperature of the block Rise in temperature Final joulemeter reading q2 = Dq = q2 q1= Q =

Calculations The specific heat capacity of the metal c can be calculated from the following equation: Energy supplied electrically = energy gained by the metal block Q = mcDq . Sample readings might be as follows. Mass of aluminium block = 1 kg Initial temperature of block = 15 C Final temperature of block = 22 C Joulemeter reading = 6350 J Calculations Electrical energy supplied = energy gained by aluminium block W = mc Dq 6350 = 1 c 7 6350 = 7c Specific heat capacity of aluminium, c = 9.1 102 J kg -1 K-1

Measurement of specific heat capacity of water by an electrical method Apparatus

Joulemeter, calorimeter, heating coil, beaker, lagging, thermometer reading to 0.1 C, electronic balance and a low voltage a.c. supply.

Procedure 1. Find the mass of the calorimeter m cal. 2. Find the mass of the calorimeter plus the water m1. Hence the mass of the water mw is m1 mcal. 3. Set up the apparatus as shown. Record the initial temperature q1. 4. Plug in the joulemeter, switch it on and zero it. 5. Switch on the power supply and allow current to flow until a temperature rise of 10 C has been achieved. 6. Switch off the power supply, stir the water well and record the highest temperature q2. Hence the rise in temperature Dq is q2 q1. 7. Record the final joulemeter reading Q .

Results Mass of the calorimeter m cal = m1 = qSUB>1 = q2 = Dq = q2 q1 = Q= mw = m1 mcal =

Mass of the calorimeter plus the water Mass of the water Initial temperature of water Final temperature Rise in temperature Final joulemeter reading

Calculations Given that the specific heat capacity of the calorimeter ccal is known, the specific heat capacity of water cw can be calculated from the following equation: Energy supplied = energy gained by water + energy gained by calorimeter Q = mwcwDq + mcal ccalDq A typical set of results might look like this: Mass of calorimeter Mass of calorimeter + water Mass of water Initial temperature of water + calorimeter Final temperature of water + calorimeter Increase in temperature Specific heat capacity of copper Energy supplied Calculations Q = mwcw Dq+ mcccDq = 0.080 kg = 0.150 kg = 0.070 kg = 15 C = 24 C =9K = 390 J kg1 K1 = 2900 J

2900 = 0.07 cw 9 + 0.08 390 9 2900 = 0.63 cw + 280.8 cw = 4157.46 = 4.2 103 Jkg1 K1

Measurement of the specific heat capacity of a metal or water by a mechanical method Apparatus Copper calorimeter, copper rivets, beaker, boiling tube, lagging, thermometer accurate to 0.1 C, heat source and electronic balance.

Procedure 1. Place some copper rivets in a boiling tube. Fill a beaker with water and place the boiling tube in it. 2. Heat the beaker until the water boils. Continue boiling for a further five minutes to ensure that the copper pieces are 100 C. 3. Find the mass of the copper calorimeter mcal. 4. Add cold water to the calorimeter until it is quarter full. Find the combined mass of the calorimeter and water m1. Hence the mass of the water mw is m1 mcal. 5. Record the initial temperature of the calorimeter plus water q1. 6. Quickly add the hot copper rivets to the calorimeter, without splashing. 7. Stir the water and record the highest temperature q2. The fall in temperature Dqc of the copper rivets is 100 C 02. The rise in temperature Dqw of the calorimeter plus water is q2 q1.

8. Find the mass of the calorimeter plus water plus copper rivets m 2 and hence find the mass of the rivets mc. Results Mass of the calorimeter Mass of the calorimeter plus the water Mass of the water Initial temperature of water Initial temperature of rivets Initial temperature of calorimeter Final temperature of water Rise in temperature of water Fall in temperature of rivets Mass of calorimeter plus water plus rivets Mass of rivets mcal = m1 = mw = m1 mcal = q1 = 100 C q1 =

Dq2 = Dq2 = q2 q1 m2 = = Dq1 = 100 C q2 mco = m2 m1

Calculations Assume that heat losses to the surroundings or heat gains from the surroundings are negligible. Given that either the specific heat capacity of water cw or the specific heat capacity of copper cc is known, the other specific heat capacity can be calculated from the following equation: Energy lost by copper rivets = energy gained by copper calorimeter + the energy gained by the water mcoccDqc = mcalccDqw + mwcwDq2 If cw is known, then cc can be calculated or alternatively if cc is known, cw can be found.

Sample results Mass of calorimeter 0.082 kg 0.158 kg

Mass of calorimeter + water Mass of water 0.076 kg

Mass of copper pieces

0.033 kg

Initial temperature of copper pieces 100 C Initial temperature of water in calorimeter 16 C Final temperature of water in calorimeter 19 C Specific heat capacity of water 4180 J kg-1 K-1

mcoccDq1 = mcalccDq2 + mwcwDq2 0.033 cc 81 = 0.076 4180 3 + 0.082 cc 3 2.673 cc = 953.0 + 0.246 cc cc = 3.9 102 J kg-1 K-1

Application of Specific Heat Capacity Car radiator

Water is pumped through the channels in the engine block to absorb heat.

Water is used as the cooling agent due to its high specific heat capacity.

The hot water flows to the radiator and is cooled by the air flows through the fins of the radiator.

The cool water flows back to the engine again to capture more heat and this cycle is repeated continuously.

Cooking utensils

Cooking utensils are made of metal which has low specific heat capacity so that it need less heat to raise up the temperature.

Handles of cooking utensils are made of substances with high specific heat capacities so that its temperature wont become too high even if it absorbs large amount of heat.

Thermal Radiator

Thermal radiators are always used in cold country to warm the house. Hot water is made to flow through a radiator. The heat given out from the radiator is then warm the air of the house.

The cold water is then flows back to the water tank. This process is repeated continuously.

Water is used in the radiator because it has high specific heat capacity.

Phenomena of specific heat capacity sea breeze Sea Breeze

Land has lower heat capacity than sea water. Therefore, in day time, the temperature of the land increases faster than the sea.

Hot air (lower density) above the land rises. Cooler air from the sea flows towards land and hence produces sea breeze.

Land Breeze

Land has lower heat capacity than sea water. During night time, the temperature of the land drops faster than the sea.

Hot air (lower density) above the sea rises. Cooler air from the land blows towards sea and hence produces land breeze.

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Molar Heat Capacities


Molar heat capacity is heat energy to raise one mole of a substance by 1 oC. C = (molecular weight) x (specific heat capacity) Dulong-Petit Law is approximately true for many solids at room temperatures: The molar heat capacity of a solid is roughly 6 cal/mole/oC. The Molar Heat Capacity of gases (at constant volume) depends on the number of atoms in the molecule: Monoatomic: C = 3 cal/mole/ oC (approximate) Diatomic: C = 5 cal/mole/ oC (approximate) Polyatomic: C = 6 cal/mole/ oC (approximate)

Phase Changes

In a phase change, heat is added to a system without changing its temperature. System separates into macroscopic phaseswith different physical properties (ice and water, for example) On microscopic scale this means changes in ordering of atoms (change in crystal structure, distance between atoms, magnetization, etc.)

Latent Heat

Latent Heat is the amount of heat added per unit mass of a substance during a phase change. Latent heat of fusion = heat per unit mass added to melt (or removed to freeze). Latent heat of vaporization = heat per unit mass added (or removed) for liquidvapor phase change.

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Phase changes of latent heat of fusion and latent heat of vapourisation Change of Phase Matters can be in four states like solid, liquid, gas and plasma. Distance between the molecules or atoms of the matter shows its state or phase . Temperature and pressure are the only factors that affect the phases of matter. Under constant pressure, when you heat matter, its speed of motion increases and as a result the distance between the atoms or molecules becomes larger. If you give heat to a solid substance, its temperature increases up to a specific point and after this point temperature of it is constant and it starts to change its phase from solid to liquid. Another example that all you in experience daily life, when you heat water it boils and if you continue to give heat it starts to evaporate. In this section we will learn these changes in the phases of substances and learn how to calculate necessary heat to change the states of them.

Melting and Freezing If solid matters gain enough heat they change state solid to liquid. Heat is a form of energy and in this situation it is used for the break the bonds of the atoms and molecules. Heated atoms and molecules vibrate more quickly and break their bonds. We call this process melting changing state solid to liquid. Inverse of melting is called freezing, changing state liquid to solid, in which atoms and molecules lost heat and come together, their motion slows down and distance between them decreases.

Look at the given graph which shows the melting of the ice.

This is a phase of change of water from solid to liquid. As you can see at the beginning ice is at -15 C, we give heat and its temperature becomes 0 C which is the melting point of ice. During melting process temperature of the ice-water mixture does not change. After all the mass of ice is melted its temperature starts to rise. Every solid matter has its own melting point; we can say that melting point is a distinguishing property of solids. Inverse of this process is called freezing in which liquid lost heat and change phase liquid to solid. Freezing point and melting point are the same for same matter and it is also distinguishing property of matter. We find the heat necessary for melting the solid substance with following formula;

Lfusion, like specific heat, it shows how much heat you should give for melting/freezing unit of mass. For example, 3,3105 joule/kg is the latent heat of fusion for ice and liquid.

Example: Find the amount of heat for melting the ice having mass 1,3kg at -10 C? (Lfusion =3, 3105 joule/kg cice=2,2X103j/kg.C) We first increase the temperature of the ice from -10 C to 0 C (melting point)

Effects of Pressure and Impurity on Freezing and Melting Point Pressure is the force exerting on the surface perpendicularly. Thus, it helps to keep particles together. If volume of the matter increases after melting, pressure decreases the melting point. On the contrary, if the volume of the substance decreases after melting, pressure increases the melting point of the matter. For example, when you walk on the snowy road you observe that snow under your feet melt later than around, because you exert pressure on it with your feet. Ice melting at 0 C can be melt at -3 C with the applied pressure on it. Impurity like pressure affects the latent heat of fusion. For instance, salty water freezes under 0 C.

Boiling Evaporation and Condensation Evaporation is the change of phase from liquid to gas. Evaporation occurs only at the surface of the water and at every temperature. However, evaporation is directly proportional to the temperature, increasing in the temperature increasing in the rate of evaporation. Inverse of this process is called condensation in which; gas molecules/atoms lost heat and change phase from gas to liquid. As in the case of melting, when you give heat to liquid, at one certain point its temperature does not change. Gained heat spent on breaking the bonds between molecules and atoms. At this temperature, vapor pressure of the liquid is equal to the pressure of surrounding. During this process evaporation occurs in everywhere of the liquid which is called boiling. Boiling point is a distinguishing property of liquids; each matter has its own boiling point. For example, water boils at 100 C in atmospheric pressure. We use the following formula to find required heat to boil liquid matter.

Where; m is the mass of the liquid matter and Lvaporization is the latent heat of vaporization that shows the necessary heat to evaporate unit of mass. For example, you should give 2,3X106 joule heat to change the phase of water from liquid to gas.

Example: Find the amount of heat for evaporating 2,8kg of water at 45 C? (Lvaporization =2, 3106 joule/kg cwater=4190j/kg.C)

Effects of Pressure and Impurity on Boiling Point Boiling occurs only when the vapor pressure of liquid and pressure of outside equals to each other. If the pressure of outside increases then the boiling point of the liquid also increases. On the contrary, if the pressure of the outside decreases, then boiling point of the liquid also decreases. For example, at the top of a mountain atmospheric pressure is lower than the atmospheric pressure of the sea level. In addition to this, impurity of the liquid matter also affects the boiling point of that matter. For instance, if you mix water with a salt or sugar, you increase the boiling point of the water

Sublimation Sublimation is the change of state from solid to gas. Some of the solid matters change their states directly to the gas with the gained heat. For example, dry ice (frozen CO2) sublimate when heat is given. Inverse of this process is called deposition, in which gas matters lost heat and change their phase to solid.

Example: Graph given below shows the relation of temperature and gained heat on different matters. Which ones of them are possible?

Line of A shows the relation that, gained heat by the matter is constant however, its temperature is increasing. Such a relation between heat and temperature of the matter is not possible.

Line B shows that, temperature of the substance increases with the gained heat. It is possible. Line C shows that, matter gains heat but its temperature stays constant. This is also possible; C can be change of its phase. Line D says that, matter gains heat however, its temperature decreases. This situation is not possible.

Does more heat always mean a higher temperature?


From what we've said so far, you might be forgiven for thinking that giving something more heat always makes its temperature rise. Generally that's true, but not always. Suppose you have a lump of ice floating in a pan of water and you place it on your hot stove. If you stick a thermometer in the ice-water mixture, you'll find it's around 0C (32F)the normal freezing point of water. But if you keep heating, you'll find the temperature stays the same until pretty much all the ice has melted, even though you're supplying more heat all the time. It's almost as though the ice-water mixture is taking the heat you're giving it and hiding it away somewhere. Oddly enough, that's exactly what's happening!

When a substance changes from solid to liquid or from liquid to gas, it takes energy to change its state. To turn solid ice into liquid water, for example you have to push the water molecules inside further apart and break apart the framework (or crystalline structure) that holds them together. So while ice is melting (in other words, during the change of state from solid water to liquid ice), all the heat energy you supply is being used to separate molecules and none is left over for raising the temperature.

The heat needed to change a solid into a liquid is called the latent heat of fusion. Latent means hidden and "latent heat of fusion" refers to the hidden heat involved in making a substance change state from solid to liquid or vice-versa. Similarly, you need to supply heat to change a liquid into a gas, and this is called the latent heat of vaporization. Latent heat is a kind of energy and, although it may seem to be "hidden," it doesn't vanish into thin air. When liquid water freezes and turns back to ice, the latent heat of fusion is given off again. You can see this if you cool water systematically. To start with, the temperature of the water falls regularly as you remove heat energy. But at the point where liquid water turns to solid ice, you'll find water freezes without getting any colder. That's because the latent heat of fusion is being lost from the liquid as it solidifies and it's stopping the temperature from falling so quickly.

Measuring Specific Latent Heat There are many methods that can be used to do this and the best one for the purpose will depend in part on the materials being tested. The method for measuring the latent heat of fusion of ice would not work very well for iron or aluminium. Here are two different specific latent heat experiments for you to carry out.

Latent heat of fusion Method 1 This method works well for ice as well as other chemicals with a melting point at a little below room temperature.

Experimental Setup with Power Circuit The two set ups should be identical other than the fact that the control is not connected to a power supply.:

Place the two immersion heaters in the funnels and pack the crushed ice around them. The element of the heaters should be positioned towards the end of the metal barrel; check that this is in good contact with the ice. Connect one heater to the power supply but do not turn it on.

Record the weights of the two beakers and place them under the funnels. Wait until both funnels are dripping water into their beakers then turn on the power supply and at the same time start the stop clock.

Record the current and potential difference of the supply circuit and do not alter it (if data logging equipment is available the values can be constantly tracked and the resultant power and energy delivered calculated automatically).

Ensure that the ice is kept topped up and in good contact with the two heaters.

The ideal duration of the experiment will depend on several factors including the power of the heater, the size of the funnel and room temperature etc. However as a guide, a duration of five minutes should be adequate.

Turn off the power and stop the clock but do not move the beakers. After another minute or so (when the flow of melt water is back to the rate of the control setup) remove the beakers and weigh them again.

Analysis 1

Calculate the total energy (in Joules) delivered to the heater from the equation:

Calculate the weight of water deposited in each beaker. Subtract the weight of water in the control beaker from that in the experimental beaker. This mass, , is equal to the weight of ice melted due solely to the effect of the heater.

Divide the energy delivered by the mass of the water (in kilograms). This is the Specific latent heat of ice:

A cautious experimenter would then repeat the experiment but switching the role of the experimental and control apparatus.

Method 2 This method works well for substances with a melting point at a modest distance above room temperature. Chemicals such as stearic or lauric acid are ideal.

Experimental Setup with Power Circuit


Weigh the insulated beaker. Measure out sufficient of the test material to well cover the element of the immersion heater when it is placed in the insulated beaker. Weigh the measuring beaker with it contents.

Turn on the heater and fully melt the test solid so that the heater and temperature probe can be put in place and fixed with clamps. Allow the material to resolidify and record the temperature at regular intervals.

Allow the material to cool a few degrees below the melting point. Turn on the heater and record the current and potential difference readings.

Record the temperature at regular intervals until the material is a few degrees above the melting point.

Repeat the previous two steps several times but with a different settings for the power supply.

Analysis 2

Plot a graph for each different power run of temperature against time and use it to measure the melting time of the sample (from when the sample begins to melt to when it is fully liquid.

The time to fully melt the sample depends on two factors, the latent heat of the sample and the rate of heat loss to the surroundings. The analysis is as follows:

The latent heat of fusion

of the sample is given by:

Where L is the specific latent heat of fusion and divide by time we have the power

is the mass of the sample. If we

, that is going solely into melting the sample.

But the total power supplied is divided between this and the rate of heat loss to the surroundings :

Writing this out in full we can put the equation into

form:

So if we draw a graph of total power against the inverse of the melting time we should produce a straight line graph with a y intercept of the rate of heat loss to the surroundings and a gradient of the specific heat capacity multiplied by the mass of the sample.

There is one additional point that can be added to the graph as the x intercept corresponds to zero total power and the relevant time is therefore the time it took the sample to solidify when the power had been turned off.

Latent heat of vaporisation Temperature and State Changes At sea level, water freezes at 32F (0C) and boils at 212F (100C). These are the temperatures at which water changes state. When a liquid boils, changes to a gas, it absorbs heat. When a gas condenses, changes back to a liquid, it gives off heat. Water requires one BTU of heat per pound to rise one degree Fahrenheit. If you place one pound of water at 32F in a container over a flame, its temperature rises 1F for each BTU of heat the water absorbs from the flame. Once the water has reached a temperature of 212F, it has absorbed 180 BTUs of heat. As the flame continues to heat the water, it boils, changing from a liquid to a gas, and it continues to boil until all of it has changed to a gas.

If this gas is collected in a container and checked with a thermometer; it would also have a temperature of 212 F. The temperature has not risen further, but the flame has applied an additional 970 BTUs of heat. The liquid absorbs the heat as it boils. It is "hidden" in the water vapor.

If the vapor contacted cool air, the heat would flow into the cooler air as the vapor condensed back into water. This hidden heat is called the "latent, hidden, heat of vaporization".

Water has a latent heat of vaporization of 970 BTUs. This means one pound of water at 212 F will absorb 970 BTUs of heat when it boils and becomes a vapor. In the same way, the vapor will give off 970 BTUs of heat when it condenses back to water.

Latent Heat of Vaporization

The Effects of Pressure on Boiling Points


As the pressure on a liquid is increased, the boiling point rises. As the pressure on a liquid is decreased, the boiling point drops.

At sea level, where the atmospheric pressure is 14.7 psi, the boiling point of water is 212F (100C). At any point higher than sea level, the atmospheric pressure is lower and so is the boiling point. In Denver, Colorado (elevation 5,300 feet), water boils at only 206F (97C). Atmospheric pressure is approximately 14.7 psi (absolute) at sea level, and somewhat lower at higher elevations. At sea level, the entire weight of a "column" of air approximately 600 miles high, presses down on everything. At higher elevations, the column of air is shorter and the air is thinner, so the pressure is lower.

Of course, you don't notice the 14.7 psi pressing in on everything, and air pressure gages are calibrated to read 0 psi at atmospheric pressure. But this atmospheric pressure exists, and you can feel its effects, particularly at higher elevations; for example, if you exercise vigorously, at a high elevation, you become winded more quickly.

In an air conditioning system, the pressure in the evaporator is low, so that all the refrigerant vaporizes. The pressure in the condenser is high, so that all the refrigerant readily changes state to a liquid.

In an automotive cooling system, an overpressure condition is maintained to raise the boiling point. For example, a cooling system having a pressure cap rated at 22psi (1.5 bar) would raise the boiling point of pure water 268F (131), a 56F (31C) increase.

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