Pohl, Robert O. Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Last reviewed:August 2019
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A measure of the heat required to raise the temperature of a substance. Conventionally, specific heat refers to the amount of heat energy needed to increase the temperature of one unit of mass of a given substance by one unit of temperature—for instance, of 1 gram of a substance by 1 degree Celsius (°C) (Illustration). The formal term for this heat energy amount is specific heat capacity, but the quantity is often referred to by the shorter name specific heat. The constancy of factors such as pressure and volume influence a substance's specific heat, as well as the state of matter the substance is in when determining the specific heat. See also: Energy; Heat; Mass; Matter; Phase transitions; Pressure; Temperature
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