Molar heat capacity

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The molar heat capacity of a substance is the energy needed to raise the temperature of one mole of it by one degree Celsius.

When using SI units, it can be calculated with the equation

where refers to the molar heat capcity (in joules per Kelvin), to the heat supplied (in joules) and (in Kelvin) to the temperature change in the substance.[1]

The molar heat capacity of a given substance can be found by heating the substance by releasing a known amount of energy into the substance and measuring the temperature change.

For example, a common school experiment to find the molar heat capacity of water involves heating a beaker of water with an immersion heater (that can display the heat released in joules on a display) and stirring the water, while checking the temperature at specific intervals.

For more accurate results, a bomb calorimeter can be used; these contain a chamber of fuel (in this case, a compound that will release heat when needed) inside a chamber of water, with the water chamber protected by heat-proof walls (to ensure minimal heat loss, which would affect the final heat capacity recorded).

References[change | change source]

  1. "Molar Heat Capacity Definition and Examples". Thoughtco. Retrieved 7 August 2019.