Heat Capacity vs. Specific Heat Capacity

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Ashley Garcia 2L
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:05 am

Heat Capacity vs. Specific Heat Capacity

Postby Ashley Garcia 2L » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:33 pm

Why is heat capacity considered an extensive property and specific heat capacity considered an intensive property? Why is specific heat capacity more useful in calculations than heat capacity, does this have to do with the fact that one is intensive and the other is extensive, respectfully?

Vivian Nguyen
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Re: Heat Capacity vs. Specific Heat Capacity

Postby Vivian Nguyen » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:44 pm

Heat capacity is an extensive property because it depends on the amount of the substance. Meanwhile, specific heat capacity is an intensive property because it does not matter the amount of substance present. For example in lecture, the heat capacity was 49 kj/c while the specific heat capacity is j/k × mol. The specific heat capacity is more useful in calculations because it is an intensive property. I think its because specific heat capacity is describing an attribute of the substance itself, and it doesnt depend on the amount present.

Joanne Guan 1B
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Re: Heat Capacity vs. Specific Heat Capacity

Postby Joanne Guan 1B » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:17 am

Heat capacity is defined as the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of a substance by 1°C.
Specific heat capacity is defined as the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of ONE GRAM of a substance by 1°C.

As you can see, the specific heat capacity can be applied to all amounts of said substance, but a substance can have infinitely many heat capacities depending on the amount of substance you have. On other words, the value for specific heat capacity is the same for 30 g of copper and 50 g of copper, but the heat capacities of 30 g of copper and 50 g of copper are different.

Vincent Kim 2I
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Re: Heat Capacity vs. Specific Heat Capacity

Postby Vincent Kim 2I » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:25 pm

Heat capacity isn't specific to a certain value and is fluid depending on the amount of substance there is. Specific heat capacity only refers to the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of a substance by 1 C. No matter how much substance there is, the specific heat capacity will always refer to 1 gram, which is simply a constant.


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