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Heat Capacity

They are really the same thing. The heat capacity is the amount of heat
needed to raise the temperature of something by one degree Celsius (or

Energy Absorbed by the sample

Heat Capacity =
Temperature change in ℃

∆𝑄 = 𝐶𝛥𝑇
In this equation, C is the total object’s heat capacity and has units of J/K.
Sometimes, we wish to express the heat capacity as a function of amount of
material. there are two ways of doing that.

We can talk about molar heat capacity. the amount of heat (Joules) needed
to raise one mole of a substance by one K.
C would have units of 𝑜𝑟 to cancel out the moles, we need to
mol∙K mol∙℃
include the number of moles, n, in the equation.

Energy Absorbed by the sample

Molar Heat Capacity =
(No. of moles of the sample) ∗ (Temperature change in ℃)

∆𝑄 = 𝑛𝐶𝛥𝑇

We could talk about the per gram heat capacity. this one, we have a special
name for, called specific heat. now, C has units of 𝑜𝑟 and we need
g∙K g∙℃
include the number of grams, m, in the equation

Energy Absorbed by the sample

Specific Heat Capacity =
(Mass of sample in g) ∗ (Temperature change in ℃)

∆𝑄 = 𝑚𝐶𝛥𝑇

One should look at the units of the heat capacity they have. If there are units
of grams in there then multiply by grams to cancel them out. If there are
units of moles in there then multiply by the number of moles to cancel them
out. Thus, the first equation is the only one you need to memorize and the
second two are modifications of the first, depending on the situation give in
the question.
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 oC-1]


Mass, m = 2kg
Specific heat capacity, c = 900 Jkg-1 oC-1
Temperature change, θ = 30 - 25 = 5 oC

Thermal energy required,

Q = mcθ = (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]

P = 5000W
m = 500kg
c = 4200 J kg-1 oC-1
θ = 100 - 25 = 75oC

We assume,
all the electrical energy supplied = heat energy absorbed by the water
Pt = mcθ
(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]


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 = mcθ
gh = cθ
(10)(100) = (130) θ
θ = 7.69 oC

Conversion Of Kinetic Energy Into Thermal Energy

Example 4:A 2g lead bullet is moving at 150 m/s when it strikes a wooden
block and is brought to rest. Assuming all kinetic energy is converted into
thermal energy and transferred to the bullet, what is the rise in temperature
of the bullet as it is brought to rest? [The specific heat capacity of lead is
130 Jkg-1K-1]


m = 2g = 0.002kg
v = 150 m/s
c = 130 Jkg-1

We assume all the kinetic energy is converted into heat energy

{2}mv^2 = mc\theta \hfill \\
\frac{{v^2 }}
{{2c}} = \theta \hfill \\
\frac{{(150)^2 }}
{{2(130)}} = \theta \hfill \\
\theta = 86.54^o C \hfill \\
Mixing 2 Liquid

Example 5: 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]


The density of water is 1g/cm3, which means the mass of 1 cm3 of water is
equal to 1g.

Let the final temperature = θ

m1 = 500g = 0.5kg
c1 = c
θ1 = θ - 0 = θ
m2 = 200g = 0.2kg
c2 = c
θ2 = 90 - θ

m1c1θ1 = m2c2θ2
(0.5) c ( θ ) = (0.2) c ( 90 - θ )
0.5 θ = 18 - 0.2 θ
0.5 θ + 0.2 θ = 18
0.7 θ = 18
θ = 25.71 oC

Specific Latent Heat
Heating Curve

State of matter:
A-B: Solid
B-C: Solid and Liquid
C-D: Liquid
D-E: Liquid and Gas
E-F: Gas

Heating Curve - Latent Heat

 T1 is the melting point whereas T2 is the boiling point.

 From Q to R and S to T, the temperature remains constant because
the heat supplied to the object is used to overcome the forces of
attraction that hold the particles together.
 Heat obsorbs during Q-R is called the latent heat of fusion.
 Heat obsorbs during S-T is called the latent heat of vaporisation.
Cooling Curve

States of matter:
P-Q: Gas
Q-R: Gas and Liquid
R-S: Liquid
S-T: Liquid and Solid
T-U: Solid
U-V: Solid

Cooling Curve - Latent Heat

 T1 is the condensation point, T2 is the freezing point whereas T3 is

room temperature.
 During Q-R and S-T, the temperature remains unchanged. This is
because the energy produced during the formation of bonds is equal to
the heat energy released to the surroundings during cooling.
 The heat energy released during Q-R is called the latent heat of
 The heat energy released during S-T is called the latent heat of fusion.
Latent Heat

Latent heat is the heat absorbed or releases during a change of state of


Latent Heat of Vaporisation

The specific latent heat of vaporization is the heat needed to change 1 kg of

a liquid at its boiling point into vapour or vice versa, without a change in

Latent Heat of Fusion

The specific latent heat of fusion is the heat needed to change 1 kg of a solid
at its melting point into a liquid, or vice versa, without a change in

Formula o Specific Latent Heat

Example: How much heat energy is required to change 0.5 kg of ice at 0°C
into water at 25°C? [Specific latent heat of fusion of water = 334 000 J/kg;
specific heat capacity of water = 4200 J/(kg K).]


There are 2 processes involve when an ice is converted into water at 25°C.

Ice at 0°C ------> Water at 0°C -------> Water at 25°C

Energy absorbed to convert 0.5kg from Ice at 0°C to Water at 0°C

Q1 = mL = (0.5)(334000) = 167000J

Energy absorbed to convert 0.5kg from watyer at 0°C to Water at 25°C

Q2 = mcθ = (0.5)(4200)(25-0) = 52500J

Total energy required = Q1 + Q2 = 167000 + 52500 = 219500J

How much energy is required to change exactly 1 g of ice at -20°C to steam

at 120 °C? [Specific heat capacity of water = 4200J kg-1 oC-1; Specific latent
heat of fusion of ice = 334,000 Jkg-1, specific heat capacity of steam is 2020
J/(kg °C), Specific latent heat of vaporization of water = 2,260,000 J/kg,
specific heat capacity of ice = 2100 J/(kg K)]


The processes involved:

Ice (-20°C) ---> Ice (0°C) ---> Water (0°C) ---> Water (100°C) ---> Steam (100°C) ---> Water (120°C)

Energy required:
Ice (-20°C) to Ice (0°C), Q1 = mcθ = (0.001)(2100)(20) = 42J
Ice (0°C) to Water (0°C), Q2 = mL = (0.001)(334000) = 334J
Water (0°C) to Water (100°C), Q3 = mcθ = (0.001)(4200)(100) = 420J
Water (100°C) to Steam (100°C), Q4 = mL = (0.001)(2260000) = 2260J
Steam (100°C) to Steam (120°C), Q5 = mcθ = (0.001)(2020)(20) = 40.4J

Total energy required

= Q1 + Q2 + Q3 + Q4 + Q5
= 42 + 334 + 420 + 2260 + 40.4 = 3096.4J

How impurities affect the melting point

If impurities are present in a substance, its melting point will be lower than

Factors affecting melting point

Applying pressure to ice, for example, lowers its melting point.

Presence of impurities:
Adding salt to melting ice, for example, can reduce its melting point to as
low as -18°C.

 The utensils used for cooking use a material of low specific heat. You
can heat their bottoms quickly. This is because they have aluminium or
copper polished bottoms. The handle of these utensils is made of high
specific heat material to sustain the heat and to save our hands.
 Materials of high specific heat can be used as insulators. For example,
wood has a high specific heat. Wooden houses will keep the inside cooler
during summer. Builders can choose building materials appropriately
depending on the location and altitude. That allows to build warmer
houses or cooler houses.
 Instrument like thermometer, the body may be made of higher specific
heat and the tip is made of material of low specific heat.
 The water in swimming pool remains cool even in summer and people
enjoy a lot staying inside the pool. The reason is high specific heat of
 Steam has a high specific heat (more than water). Steam is used to carry
a lot of heat energy at high pressures to run rail engines or rotors in AC
 In the food manufacturing industry, the specific heat of soups, stews,
juices milk, and other fluids are carefully measured to assure that
adequate pasteurization or sterilization can be accomplished to assure
food safety in the thermal processing of packaged foods.
 Specific heat gives an idea about the heat storing capacity of the
substances in the transient state. The substances with high specific
heat can store large amount of heat without significant increase in its
temperature. Water (also air) is a fluid which has very high specific heat,
that is why water bodies are used to reject waste heat from the
industries. By rejecting heat to water the temperature does not change
much. Suppose if the specific heat of the water and air would have been
low then the temperature of the atmosphere and the oceans will increase
to a very high level by absorbing heat from sun and the situation will be
grave if we run industries and air conditioners (ACs reject heat to the
 Water is widely used as coolant. This is because of its high specific
heat capacity. It takes longer for water to get heated up and hence can
keep the engine cool for some time.
Water is used in hot water bags. Water can remain hot for some time
and people can use it for various purpose.

Specific heat capacity is the amount of heat needed to raise its

temperature by 1K. Specific heatcapacity, heat capacity and thermal
conductivity are all very necessary when designing and buildingengines
and large machinery. Car/machine motors get very hot, and is very
important to know howthat heat is distributed through the engine. If
you have poor heat management, it can lead to enginefailure, fires or
possibly even an explosion.Water has a high specific heat capacity and
is low on cost, and is very effective when acting as acooling agent in
engines. A water pump circulates the water around the engine, and the
heatproduced by the engine is absorbed by the water. That hot water
that circulates around the enginewalls is then forced into the cars
radiator where the heat from the water is released through thecooling
fan.Engine parts constantly expand and contract due to the fluctuation
in heat within the engine. That iswhy it is imperative that metals with
similar specific heat capacities are put together, because if one metal
heats up faster than the other and they’re connected, and one expands
faster than the other, then cracking and splitting may occur.Materials
that have lower specific heat capacities are prone to gaining more heat,
or heat up quickereven if a smaller amount of energy (heat) is applied to
that material. These materials are very usefulfor cooking appliances
such as frypans, pots and heating elements of kettles. Even though
theheating element of a kettle has a low specific heat capacity, the outer
casing of the kettle would have to have a higher specific heat capacity so that
you don’t burn your hand.
In a cooking pot, itwould generally have a copper base, which has low
specific heat capacity to absorb the heat. It isals
o very stable so that the pot won’t topple over. Wood is often used as the
handles of the pot due to woods low conductivity of heat.For us to
measure temperature by using a thermometer, the liquid and the
material that is in musthave low specific capacities for accurate
measurements of the temperature. Usually around athermometer is
glass which has a specific heat capacity of 0.84 J/g and the mercury
which is theliquid in thermometers have a specific heat capacity of 0.14
J/g (which is the reason why mercuryis used in thermometers).These
are some real life applications of specific heat capacity, and all though
we may not realise it, itis in most things we do in everyday life. Specific
heat capacity is a big part of the way us as humanslive our lives.
heat-capacity.html Breen, M. (2001) Re. What are some practical uses
of determining the specific heat of a metal.Retrieved on 30

Car radiator

 Water is pumped through the channels in the engine block to absorb

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

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

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.

Fish in Pond

The high heat capacity of water has a

great deal to do with regulating extremes
in the environment. For instance, our fish
in the pond is indeed happy because the
heat capacity of the water in her pond
above means the temperature of the
water will stay relatively the same from
day to night. She doesn't have to worry
about either turning on her air conditioner or putting on her woolen
flipper gloves.

 This same concept can be expanded to a world-wide scale. The oceans

and lakes help regulate the temperature ranges that billions of people
experience in their towns and cities. Water surrounding or near cities
take longer to heat up and longer to cool down than do land masses, so
cities near the oceans will tend to have less change and less extreme
temperatures than inland cities. This property of water is one reason
why states on the coast and in the center of the United States can differ
so much in temperature patterns. A Midwest state, such as Nebraska,
will have colder winters and hotter summers than Oregon, which has a
higher latitude but has the Pacific Ocean nearby.

 Things like specific heat, heat capacity, and thermal conductivity are
extremely important issues when designing motors and large
machinery. Engines get hot and have a lot of fluids pumping through
 It is very important to know how that heat will be distributed through
the engine. Poor heat management can lead do decreased efficiency,
fire, or EXPLOSION. Engine parts expand and contract when they are
heated. If you put two dissimilar metal parts together with different
specific heats they will expand and contract at different rates. That joint
could fuse together or crack apart, leading to the aforementioned
decreased efficiency, fires, or EXPLOSIONS.
Living Organism
 A substance with a high heat capacity will need much more energy to
raise its temperature, and since cells are mostly water, it will take a
large amount of energy to raise body temperature by a significant
amount. This prevents our bodies from reaching excessive
temperatures that can be harmful to us. In addition, since chemical
reactions in living organisms can produce large amounts of energy, it
is necessary that water can absorb this heat without it affecting its
temperature. Water's high heat capacity is also important for aquatic

Carbon fibers
Carbon fibers are commonly used in military and large commercial
aircraft brakes. They have been used in some racing car brakes as
well. For these usages, both the rotor and stator (or brake pad) are
made from carbon fibers that are bonded by amorphous carbon.
Such brakes can operate to 2500C, far hotter than brakes that use
metallic rotors.

Aircraft and racing cars need to keep weight to a minimum. For this
reason they use brake friction materials that can be used at high
operating temperatures, that have high specific heat capacities, and
which have high thermal conductivities. Carbon fibers are
particularly useful for such brakes. However, they are too expensive
and their friction is too sensitive to contamination (water and organic
vapors) for most automotive applications.

You indicated that you want to calculate temperature increases due

to braking.
You should be aware that, during hard braking, about 85% of the
braking work
goes into heating the brake assembly (the remaining 15% mostly goes
into heating the tires and pavement). On a panic brake stop, where
the wheels lock and the tires skid, about 5% goes into heating the
brakes and 95% into the tires and pavement.

How hot a brake gets is determined by several factors, one of which

is the specific heat capacity of the brake materials. Most materials
have specific heats that vary with temperature. Typically, they rise
with increasing temperatures.

Carbon has a large variation in its specific heat capacity. It is very

low at
cryogenic temperatures, but rises rapidly in the brake temperature
Variation above 600C is relatively small. The specific of carbon seems
to vary somewhat with its structure, be it diamond, graphite, or
amorphous carbon. A carbon-carbon (carbon fiber based) friction
material should have a specific heat that varies with temperature
much like graphite. You can estimate the specific heat using the
following values from the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics:

Temperature, ºC Specific Heat

20 0.17
85 0.177
138 0.254
642 0.445
896 0.454

You can plot these values to generate a curve for the specific heat
temperature. Then you might wish to use an approximation
technique to estimate the temperature increase due to braking.

Which heats up faster, soil or sand?

First of all, sand is a type of soil so you might want to frame the
question as sand versus clay or sand versus loam. Check a soil
textural triangle to see the different names for soil types.
The answer will depend on several factors including the types of soil
and soil colors. An especially important factor is if the soil samples are
wet or dry.

Let's assume you have a clay and a white sand. Start with air dry
samples of equal volumes for both. The bulk density (mass of dry soil
per unit volume) of the clay is about 1.05 grams per ml, and the sand
is about 1.55 grams per ml (Hausenbuiller 1972). Therefore, there is
much more mineral mass to heat up with the sand. Plus, sands are
often lighter in color than clays so reflect more heat than clay.

The reason why sand has a greater bulk density is that the particles
are larger than in the clay so there is less pore space or porosity. Sand
particles range from 2 mm to 0.05 mm in diameter. Clay particles are
less than 0.002 mm in diameter. The sand has 42% porosity by
volume. The clay has 60% porosity (Hausenbuiller 1972)
It becomes much more complicated if the samples are moist because
you also have to heat the water the samples contain. Let's assume the
samples are at field capacity, which is the water content on a volume
basis after the soil has been thoroughly irrigated and drained. Sand
has a field capacity of about 7% and a clay soil has a field capacity of
about 40% by volume. That would be 0.07 grams of water per ml of
sand and 0.4 grams of water per ml of clay. The density of water is 1
gram per ml. (Hausenbuiller 1972).
Add the bulk density and the water content and you get:
1.55 + 0.07 = 1.62 g/ml for sand
1.05 + 0.4 = 1.45 g/ml for clay

The sand still has a bigger mass to heat up. However, you have to
consider that it takes a lot more energy to heat a gram of water than
to heat a gram of soil minerals. The specific heat is the calories it takes
to raise the temperature of 1 gram of a substance 1 degree Celsius.
The specific heat of water is one of the highest at 1 calorie per gram.
Soil minerals have a specific heat of about 0.2 calories per gram (Brady
1984). Taking the different specific heat values into account.

1.55 x 0.2 + 0.07 x 1 = 0.38 calories/ml for sand

1.05 x 0.2 + 0.4 x 1 = 0.61 calories/ml for clay

Moist clay requires about 60% more energy to heat than moist sand.
Even if the sand reflects more heat than the clay, the moist clay will
still probably heat
up more slowly.

What are the differences between the specific heat of leather and cloth?
Sorry for the delay and the answer! This is a difficult question to
There are certainly differences in heat capacity between leather and
cloth, simply because leather is a three dimensional fibre that traps
I would not think that the difference in heat capacity would affect the
temperature in the car as such, simply because the air conditioning
these days is the over-riding factor.

Thermostatic properties : Leather is warm in winter and cool in summer.

S𝒑𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒇𝒊𝒄 𝑯𝒆𝒂𝒕 𝑪𝒂𝒑𝒂𝒄𝒊𝒕𝒚 𝒐𝒇 𝑫𝒓𝒚 𝑳𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓: 𝟎. 𝟑𝟔 𝒄𝒂𝒍/𝒈 ∙ ℃

Water content present in leather can result higher value of specific heat capacity.

Will 100 proof alcohol melt ice faster then 80 proof alcohol ?

WITH all other things being the same:

 temp of the two solutions

 size of cubes, amount and temp of the ice
 amount of mixing/ mechanical effects from pouring
 volume of the 80 proof and 100 proof solutions

Water has a specific heat of 1.000 cal/gram*celcius degree - meaning it

takes 1 calorie to heat 1 gram of water up by 1 celcius degree
Ethanol (pure) has a specific heat of 0.55 cal/gram*celcius degree.

In light of these differences - I would have to say that the solution with
the most water (80 proof) would have a higher capacity to melt ice, thus
probably giving it a slight advantage over the 100 proof. In order to melt
ice you must supply it with heat, water can supply about twice as much
heat to the ice before it is cooled to the temperature of the ice. Ethanol
cannot supply as much heat.

I have not taken into consideration the freezing point of ethanol (–114.1°
C) But since the ethanol and water are mixed their numbers become less
fixed and as the ice melts they change even more.

BUT your question was concerning the speed of melting.

The differences between the two solutions is only 5%.

So it is not suprising that you didn't notice a difference nor can I think of
a practical way to test this, with accuracy.

I would have to say there is a slight advantage to the solution with more
water ( 80 proof) but only a slight advantage.

Hope that helped.

Does a solution of car antifreeze and water cool better then water?

We use ice to maintain cold temperatures because of the heat adsorbed

when the ice melts into water. It takes quite a bit of energy to get the
water molecules to leave their solid state and get them moving around
in liquid form. Specifically, it takes about 80 calories per gram of water
(a calorie and an BTU are both units of heat; they just differ in size).
This energy is called the latent heat of fusion, so sometimes simply the
heat of fusion.

In addition to adsorbing energy as the ice melts, the ice water also
adsorbs energy as it heats from 0 C to whatever temperature is too warm
to do your back any good. The specific heat of water is quite high,
compared to most materials; it is about 1 calorie per degree per gram of
water. So, if the melted ice water heats from 0 to about 20 degrees C
(barely below room temperature) it will adsorb an additional 20 calories
from your aching back. So, the majority of the cooling results from 80
calories adsorbed during the melting process.

 Antifreeze is a mixture of ethylene glycol and water. It actually performs

two functions in an automobile. It depresses the freezing temperature
of water and it elevates the boiling point of water so that your car's
cooling system can operate over a wider temperature range. So, I looked
up the heat of fusion in my Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. And
the heat of fusion for ethylene glycol is 43.26 calories per gram, or about
half of that of water. So if you freeze a mixture of water and ethylene
glycol, you will actually be storing less cooling energy than with pure
water. The mixture may be colder, but it will adsorb less energy.
 There are a couple of other issues to consider, too. Whenever you try to
freeze a mixture, one component of the mixture will usually freeze first
(often as a pure compound) leaving behind liquid with a different
composition. Therefore, if you attempt to freeze a water/antifreeze
mixture, you will likely end up with an ice/antifreeze slush, rather than
solid cubes of frozen water/antifreeze. Every gram of liquid antifreeze
in your slushy mixture represents lost cooling capacity compared with
pure water.
 Antifreeze is also poisonous. Pets love it because it tastes sweet. So if
somebody gets hold of your green ice cubes or if you are sloppy with a
dog or cat around, the results could be very bad.
 The last issue to consider is the interaction between your skin and the
water/antifreeze mixture. It is possible to produce a water/antifreeze
mixture that provides cooling at below the melting point of water (not as
much cooling but colder). You could alternately add salt to the melting
ice to get the temperature of the mixture well below 0 C. Problem is that
these mixtures can also freeze the water in your skin. We call that
frostbite (you've seen pictures of frostbitten skin; black, dead, and very
painful). If you use a mixture of antifreeze/water or ice/salt on your
body, the pain from the frostbite could be a lot worse than what your
back is currently experiencing. (When you freeze the water in your cells,
it ruptures the cell membranes which hold your cells together - not a
happy thing). So, keep the antifreeze in the car; use salt to make
homemade ice-cream and perhaps you might focus on white sand
beaches with fluffy clouds against a dark blue sky, in a faraway place
where your girlfriend thinks of you as a normal, attractive person....

How will the density of liquids affect temperature retention?

 The specific heat (heat capacity or heat retention) of a liquid in not
generally a function of the density of the liquid.
 Mercury is very dense but has a lower specific heat than water.
 Alcohol is less dense that water but also has a lower specific than
 Temperature retention depends of the substance, not necessarily the

Which color holds heat longest and why?

 The answer to this one is a little surprising. White (or transparent)
is the colour that holds heat longest! But it is not quite so simple:
some sorts of white hold their heat better than others!
 Heat is a form of energy. It is the energy associated with the
random motions of the atoms or molecules of a material. There are
three ways an object or region can lose heat.
 The first, conduction, is when an object loses some of its energy
when fast moving molecules on its surface bump into slower
moving objects on the surface of whatever is next to the object, and
some energy is transferred.
 The second, convection (which really only applies to liquids and
gases) is when the faster moving molecules move away to
somewhere else in some sort of current, and are replaced by slower
moving molecules. In neither of these two cases does color as such
affect the process. So we would have to compare objects that had
the same conduction & convection properties. The best way would
be by thinking about objects in a vacuum, where these two
mechanisms cannot occur.
 The third way of losing heat is radiation, which involves turning
some of the heat energy into light energy. This is where color comes
into the act. Energy can be lost by radiation even through a
 Now the wavelengths of light that an object can emit when it is hot
are, by and large, the same as the wavelengths that it absorbs
which determine its colour. White objects are white because they
do not absorb visible light. So they cannot turn their heat into
visible light either.
 But unless objects are very hot -- red hot or hotter -- they do not
turn their excess heat into visible light. Instead they emit invisible
infrared light. For objects near room temperature the important
wavelength range is about 5 to 20 microns (millionths of a metre).
Visible light wavelengths are 0.4 to 0.7 microns.
 Some white or transparent materials, like air and salt, are also
transparent in the infrared region. Objects made of these materials
retain their heat well. Other white or transparent materials, like
glass or gelatin, absorb light fairly strongly throughout the infrared
region. They do not retain their heat. Yet others, like water or
polystyrene or polyethylene, have a few specific wavelengths of
infrared that they absorb. They come somewhere in between.
 It is even possible that some black or colored materials that absorb
visible light strongly might be transparent in the infrared, and
might retain their heat better than some white materials. I do not
know of any, but it is not at all unlikely.
why is delta Q used for heat
It is a groundbreaking work, so most BIG libraries should have a
in their Special Collections section. So, I went and looked at the
Here's what Lavoisier and Laplace had in mind. They were trying to
describe in a quantitative way what happens when you mix two substances
at different temperatures. Their original experiments involved heating
up different materials (metals, oils, all kinds of things) and then
mixing it into a bucket of water at a different temperature.

Warm Body:
m = the mass of body 1
q = the quantity of heat which can raise the temperature
of the body by one degree.
a = the reading of the thermometer

Cool Body (usually water in their experiments):

m' = the mass of body 2
q' = the quantity of heat which can raise the temperature
of body 2 by one degree.
a' = temperature of body 2

Finally, b was defined as the end temperature after mixing the two
materials together. They came up with the relations:

Heat lost by body 1 = mq(a-b)

mq(a-b) = m'q'(b-a')

(q/q') = [m'(b-a)] / [m(a-b)]

They didn't talk about heat as a physical picture, just as a "quantity"

So, q stands for quantity, the quantity of heat which can raise the
temperature of the body by one degree.

(In French, if you want to impress your teacher, "C'est la quantite' q

de chaleur qui peut e'lever d'un degre' la temperature d'une liver
de cette quantite' de chaleur perdue.")

I hope that covers it.

Specific Heat Table
Substance Specific Heat [
] (25 ℃)
Carbon (graphite) 0.711
Copper 0.387
Ethyl alcohol 2.45
Gold 0.129
Granite 0.803
Iron 0.4498
Lead 0.128
Olive Oil 2.0
Silver 0.235
Water, (liquid) 4.1796
Ice (Solid) 2.1
Vapour (Gas) 1.7

Specific Heat
Substance - cp -

(cal/gramoC) (J/kgoC)

Acetals 0.35 1460

Air, dry (sea level) 0.24 1005
Agate 0.19 800
Alcohol, ethyl 0.58 2440
Alcohol, metyl wood) 0.60 2530
Aluminum 0.21 897
Aluminum bronze 0.10 436
Alumina, AL2O3 0.17 718
Ammonia, liquid 1.12 4700
Ammonia, gas 0.49 2060
Antimony 0.05 209
Argon 0.12 520
Arsenic 0.083 348
Artificial wool 0.32 1357
Asbestos 0.2 816
Asphalt 0.22 920
Barium 0.07 290
Barytes 0.11 460
Beryllium 0.24 1020
Bismuth 0.03 130
Boiler scale 0.19 800
Bone 0.11 440
Boron 0.23 960
Boron nitride 0.17 720
Brass 0.09 375
Brick 0.20 840
Bronze 0.09 370
Brown iron ore 0.16 670
Cadmium 0.06 234
Calcium 0.13 532
Calsium silicate, CaSiO3 0.17 710
Cellulose, cotton, wood pulp and regenerated 0.31 - 0.36 1300 - 1500
Cellulose acetate, molded 0.30 - 0.43 1260 - 1800
Cellulose acetate, sheet 0.30 - 0.50 1260 - 2100
Cellulose nitrate, Celluloid 0.31 - 0.41 1300 - 1700
Chalk 0.18 750
Charcoal 0.06 840
Chromium 0.11 452
Chrom oxide 0.18 750
Clay, sandy 0.33 1381
Cobalt 0.10 435
Coke 0.20 840
Concrete 0.21 880
Constantan 0.1 410
Copper 0.09 385
Cork 0.48 2000
Diamond (carbon) 0.12 516
Duralium 0.22 920
Emery 0.23 960
Epoxy cast resins 0.24 1000
Fire brick 0.21 880
Fluorspar CaF2 0.20 830
Dichlorodifluoromethane R12, liquid 0.21 871
Dichlorodifluoromethane R12, vapor 0.14 595
Ice (0oC) 0.50 2093
India rubber 0.30 1250
Glass, crown 0.16 670
Glass, pyrex 0.18 753
Glass-wool 0.20 840
Gold 0.031 129
Granite 0.19 790
Graphite (carbon) 0.17 717
Gypsum 0.26 1090
Helium 1.24 5193
Hydrogen 3.42 14304
Ice, snow (-5oC) 0.50 2090
Ingot iron 0.12 490
Iodine 0.05 218
Iridium 0.03 134
Iron 0.11 449
Lead 0.03 129
Leather 0.36 1500
Limestone 0.22 909
Lithium 0.86 3582
Lucite 0.35 1460
Magnesia (Mangnesium oxide), MgO 0.21 874
Magnesium 0.25 1050
Magnesium alloy 0.24 1010
Manganese 0.11 460
Marble 0.21 880
Mercury 0.033 140
Mica 0.21 880
Molybdenum 0.07 272
Neon 0.25 1030
Nickel 0.11 461
Nitrogen 0.25 1040
Nylon-6 0.38 1600
Nylon-66 0.41 1700
Olive oil 0.43 1790
Osmium 0.03 130
Oxygen 0.22 918
Palladium 0.06 240
Paper 0.32 1336
Paraffin 0.78 3260
Peat 0.45 1900
Perlite 0.092 387
Phenolic cast resins 0.30 - 0.40 1250 - 1670
Phenol-formaldehyde molding compounds 0.60 - 1.4 2500 - 6000
Phosphorbonze 0.09 360
Phosphorus 0.19 800
Pinchbeck 0.09 380
Pit coal 0.24 1020
Platinium 0.032 133
Plutonium 0.033 140
Polycarbonates 0.28 - 0.30 1170 - 1250
Polyethylene terephthalate 0.30 1250
Polyimide aromatics 0.27 1120
Polyisoprene natural rubber 0.45 1880
Polyisoprene hard rubber 0.33 1380
Polymethylmethacrylate 0.36 1500
Polypropylene 0.46 1920
Polystyrene 0.31 - 0.36 1300 - 1500
Polytetrafluoroethylene moulding compound 0.24 1000
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) 0.28 1172
Polyurethane cast liquid 0.43 1800
Polyurethane elastomer 0.43 1800
Polyvinylchloride PVC 0.20 - 0.29 840 - 1170
Porcelain 0.26 1085
Potassium 0.24 1000
Potassium chloride 0.16 680
Pyroceram 0.17 710
Quartz, SiO2 0.17 730
Quartz glass 0.17 700
Red metal 0.09 381
Rhenium 0.03 140
Rhodium 0.06 240
Rosin 0.31 1300
Rubidium 0.08 330
Salt, NaCl 0.21 880
Sand, quartz 0.19 830
Sandstone 0.17 710
Scandium 0.16 568
Selenium 0.08 330
Silicon 0.17 705
silicon carbide 0.16 670
Silver 0.056 235
Slate 0.18 760
Sodium 0.30 1260
Soil, dry 0.19 800
Soil, wet 0.35 1480
Soot 0.20 840
Snow 0.50 2090
Steatite 0.20 830
Steel 0.12 490
Sulfur, crystal 0.17 700
Tantalium 0.03 138
Tellurium 0.05 201
Thorium 0.03 140
Timber, alder 0.33 1400
Timber, ash 0.38 1600
Timber, birch 0.45 1900
Timber, larch 0.33 1400
Timber, maple 0.38 1600
Timber, oak 0.57 2400
Timber, pitchpine 0.31 1300
Timber, pockwood 0.60 2500
Timber, red beech 0.31 1300
Timber, red pine 0.36 1500
Timber, white pine 0.36 1500
Timber, walnut 0.33 1400
Tin 0.054 228
Titanium 0.12 523
Tungsten 0.032 132
Tungsten carbide 0.04 171
Uranium 0.028 116
Vanadium 0.12 500
Water, pure liquid (20oC) 1.00 4182
Water, vapor (27oC) 0.45 1864
Wet mud 0.60 2512
Wood 0.41 1300 - 2400
Zinc 0.093 388