Specific Heat

The specific heat is a physical property that is related to the heat received and its thermal variation.

It tells us the amount of heat needed to increase (or decrease) the temperature of 1°C for each 1g of the element or substance.

That is, the higher the specific heat of a substance, the greater the amount of heat that must be supplied (or removed) from it for temperature variations to occur.


We use the following formula to calculate the specific heat of the substances:

c = Q/(m.Δθ), c = C/m

(Typically this formula is displayed as Q=m.c.Δθ)

  • c: specific heat (cal/g°C or J/Kg.K)
  • Q: amount of heat (lime or J)
  • m: mass (g or Kg)
  • Δθ: temperature variation (°C or K)
  • C: thermal capacity (cal/°C or J/K)


International System (SI)

The specific heat is measured in J/Kg.K (Joule per kilogram and Kelvin).


The cal/g.°C unit (calorie per gram and by degree Celsius) is still very common.

Specific Heat Molar

Instead of defining the substance in (kg) or (g), we use the "mol" or number of atoms or molecules.

Thermal Capacity

The thermal capacity is the amount of heat present in a body in relation to the temperature variation suffered by it.

It can be calculated by the following formula:

C = Q/Δθ

C = m.c

  • C: thermal capacity (cal/°C or J/K)
  • Q: amount of heat (lime or J)
  • Δθ: temperature variation (°C or K)
  • m: mass (g or Kg)
  • c: specific heat (cal/g°C or J/KgK)


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Materials: Specific Heat
Specific Heat
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