Why does water have a high specific heat?

  • Thread starter moose
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I am writting an essay for AP biology when I realize I am not entirely sure why water has a high specific heat. I thought for a moment it may be because of its polarity and hydrogen bonds keeping the molecules from moving too much too easily in a sense. I only have one day to do thats :surprised . I searched google and all I got were pages saying that water has high specific heat, but not why.

Thanks :smile:
 

Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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Because it is one of the lightest non-linear molecules.

1. low molecular mass - so more moles per kg
2. non-linear molecule - all 3 rotational degrees of freedom contribute to the specific heat

PS : see also NH3
 

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