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Homework Help: Heat Capacity and Temperature Change

  1. Sep 20, 2013 #1


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    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Two metals of identical masses and initial temperatures are dropped into water which has a lower temperature than the metals. Both the water and the metals have the same mass.

    One metal has a higher heat capacity than the other metal.

    Which metal will change the water temperature the most?

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    Because it appears that all variables to the right of "q" are equal except c, it appears that the metal with the higher heat capacity will result in a higher "q" - it will release more energy into the water (since the water is cooler and heat flows from objects of higher to lower heat).

    Therefore, it appears that the metal with the higher heat capacity will affect the temperature of the water more.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    That sounds right.

    That does not sound quite right. Δt will likely not be identical for the different samples.

    (This could be made into a trick question, but as it stands I think it is meant to be straightforward.)
  4. Sep 20, 2013 #3

    Andrew Mason

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    ? Why not? How could they end up with different temperatures?

  5. Sep 20, 2013 #4


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    The problem is not specific about when the temperatures are measured after dropping the samples into the water. Is it one second after? One minute? When everything has reached thermal equilibrium?
  6. Sep 20, 2013 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    The water warms while the metal cools. I assume separate cooling vessels.
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