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# What do you mean by “The specific heat capacity of copper is $0.4J{g^{ - 1}}{K^{ - 1}}$ “.

Last updated date: 18th Sep 2024
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Hint: You can start by explaining heat, heat capacity in brief. Then move on to explain specific heat capacity and then use the concept of specific heat capacity to explain what it means when we say that the specific heat capacity of copper is $0.4J{g^{ - 1}}{K^{ - 1}}$ .

Let’s first discuss heat and heat capacity that are necessary concepts to understand the concept of specific heat capacity.

Heat – Heat is a form of energy that is possessed by every object in existence in varying quantities. Heat like other forms of energy can be transferred from one body (or system) to the other. Heat is transferred by thermodynamic work or by transfer of matter itself.

Heat capacity – It is also called thermal capacity. It is the amount of heat that should be supplied to a given mass of a substance to raise its temperature by unit degree ( $1K$ ). The SI unit of heat capacity is $J/K$ (Joule per kelvin).

Specific heat capacity – It is defined as the amount of heat that should be supplied to unit mass ( $1kg$ ) of a substance to raise its temperature by unit degree ( $1K$ ). The SI unit of specific heat capacity is $J/kgK$.

In the problem given to us, we are given that the specific heat capacity of copper is $0.4J{g^{ - 1}}{K^{ - 1}}$. The value of specific heat capacity given to us is not in SI units and uses ${g^{ - 1}}$ instead of $k{g^{ - 1}}$. This does not change anything, it just means that $0.4J$ energy is required to raise the temperature of $1g$ copper by unit degree ( $1K$ ).

Note:
In most problems, it is best to calculate the final result in terms of SI units (unless stated otherwise ), so for example, if you were to use the given value of specific heat capacity of copper, i.e. $0.4J{g^{ - 1}}{K^{ - 1}}$, it would be a good idea to convert it in terms of SI units, i.e. $0.4 \times {10^{ - 3}}JK{g^{ - 1}}{K^{ - 1}}$.