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Homework Help: Specific Heat Capacity of oven

  1. May 28, 2006 #1


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    Hey. Here is the question i was given:

    "When you hold your hand in the air in a hot oven, it takes a while before it starts to burn, but if you touch a cake tin in the oven, it burns almost instantly. Why?"

    It has to do with the lower specific heat capacity of the tin, which apparently results in the cake tin transferring heat at a much faster rate. My question is...why does a substance with a lower specific heat capacity transfer heat faster?

  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2006 #2
    Well this is because the cake tin is able to transfer heat faster to ur skin than the air because the air has a greater heat capaity than that of the tin. This therefore means that the tin requires less energy to rasie 1 degree than the air becasue it is a better conductor of heat.
  4. May 28, 2006 #3


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    I didnt really get any of that lol.

    I know that the tin needs to transfer less energy than the air to reach a state of thermal equilibrium, since its SHC will be much lower. But for the burn to occur, it transfers this energy quite fast. Why does it do it so fast? faster than the air...
  5. May 28, 2006 #4
    Shc? 1234567890
  6. May 28, 2006 #5


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    Gold Member

    huh lol? SHC=specific heat capacity
  7. May 7, 2011 #6
    The heat source will have to heat up the air before you could feel the temperature, or get burned by it.

    While when you simply touch the cake tin, heat directly transfers to yr finger, thats why you get burnt instantaneously
  8. May 7, 2011 #7


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    Staff: Mentor

    Think heat conductivity in addition to heat capacity.
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