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Heat Capacity and specific heat

  1. Jan 23, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I am confused about what the difference between specific heat and heat capacity is. I have a block of metal (Aluminium) which I had to record dimensions and calculate the heat capacity of the block.
    I am just wondering am I doing the correct calculation?

    2. Relevant equations

    Heat capacity = specific heat * mass (units J/°C)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2014 #2


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    Correct use of the vocabulary:
    "heat capacity" is an object property ... the block ... units J/K , symbol C , formula mc
    "specific heat capacity" is a material property ... aluminum... , units J/kgK, symbol c , (formula C/m)
    (if the mass has been divided out, it is called "specific", ... as "specific impulse" of a propellant material).
    "specific heat capacity" is often improperly shortened to "specific heat".
  4. Jan 23, 2014 #3
    Thanks very much.
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