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Middle School

Structure and Properties of Matter

Specific Heat

Lesson Description:

This experiment uses electricity to heat a liquid while you measure the temperature change. A dial thermometer is visible on the screen. You will click on the tip of the thermometer pointer. The amount of electricity gives you the heat energy. Divide by temperature change to get heat capacity. Heat capacity is the amount of heat required to cause a temperature change of one degree. It depends on the amount of material and its identity. Specific heat capacity or, simply, specific heat measures the heat capacity of a single mass unit. In SI units, it measures the amount of energy in joules (J) required to raise one kilogram of a substance by one kelvin (K) or, equivalently, one degree Celsius.