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Homework Help: Specific Heat Background Explanation in relation to Degree of Freedom + Energy storag

  1. Aug 12, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Okay I have to write an EEI (Extended Experimental Investigation) for physics in relation to which radiator coolant is best from a thermodynamics point of view, thus the specific heat of the coolant is the main focus. But to incorporate more depth into the report, I was going to try and explain why water and ammonia have high specific heats, while etheylene glycol does not. But before I can explain either Im trying to understand both degrees of freedom and Equipartition of Energy theory.

    2. Relevant equations
    So basically theres not equations, but there question is, if im on the right track of understanding it. I find it a bit complex to teach myself it off wikepedia anyways.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Okay so far my understand is that different polyatomic molecules have different amount of degrees of freedom in which they can move (is there more then four for non-quantum applications as in one type of movement). Then depending on the polyatomic molecule (since all my data which I found was using polyatomic substances) number of ways it can store kinetic energy such as rotational kinetic energy, translational kinetic energy, vibrational kinetic energy, oscillating kinetic energy, the higher its specific heat as it needs to fill one layer at the time. So am I on the right track or have I confused myself somewhere? hahahah

    So if anyone has anytime to spare, to share any wisdom, it would be much appreciated.

    Links Used:
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