Specific heat capacity

The specific heat capacity denotes a substance’s capacity to store heat, representing the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a given quantity of the substance by one Kelvin. It is a distinctive characteristic of each material and serves as a means of material identification. Specific heat capacity is quantified in kilojoules per kilogram times Kelvin [kJ/(kg * K)].

Two variations are commonly considered: specific heat capacity under constant pressure (c_p) and under constant volume (c_v). In the context of gases and vapors, the distinction is crucial, as heat supply under constant pressure leads to simultaneous volume expansion, with a portion of the energy being utilized. 

In the construction industry, the specific heat capacity of solids plays a pivotal role in assessing the behavior of building materials. High heat capacity fabrics, for instance, contribute to cooling rooms for an extended duration in summer and retaining heat in buildings during winter. This capacity also guides material selection in furnace and heating construction.

Traditionally, specific heat capacity was determined by immersing a heated sample in water and calculating the specific heat based on the temperature difference before and after compensation. This method, though effective, was somewhat cumbersome due to the need to consider the heat capacity of the experimental setup in the calculations.

Modern techniques, such as Linseis’ advanced meters utilizing Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA), offer highly accurate results in a shorter timeframe. These methods enable measurements across wide temperature ranges, allowing for the determination of the temperature dependence of specific heat capacity.

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