Thermochemistry
Specific Heat, Molar Heat and Heat Capacity
The physical properties of a substance that concern its ability to absorb heat without changing chemically are called its thermal properties. Three examples are heat capacity, molar heat capacity, specific heat capacity, which is usually just called specific heat.

Specific Heat and Molar Heat Capacity
The specific heat of any substance is the energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of it by one degree Celsius. It can be calculated by the equation

(energy absorbed)
specific heat = (mass of sample in g) X (temperature change in oC)

mathematically this is expressed as C =         E
g ΔoC

You should be able to rearrange the above equation into the other 3 possible equations.

The easier equation to remember is E = mΔt. The energy involved in joules is equivalent to the mass in grams times the specific heat capacity of the substance times the change in temperature in degrees Celsius.

Table of Specific Heats
 Substance Specific Heat (25oC) J/goC 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
The molar heat capacity is a more useful quantity to work with in chemistry. It is the energy required to raise one mole of any substance by one degree Celsius.

molar heat capacity = _     J_  _
mole oC

A useful relationship is       J       g         =        J
g oC        mole            mol oC

or specific heat X molar mass = molar heat capacity

Go to the Enthalpy Worksheet on Specific Heats and Heat Units