### GCSE Physics

Energy
Forces
Forces and Motion
Waves in Matter
Electricity
Magnetism and Electromagnetism
Particle Model of Matter
Atomic Structure
Space Physics

# Specific Heat Capacity

It is important to know what internal energy is when looking at specific heat capacity. Internal energy is the total energy stored by the particles of a substance.

Internal energy consists of two main components:

• Kinetic energy
• Potential energy

Kinetic energy is the energy an object possesses due to its motion, and the kinetic energy store is related to temperature.

When you heat a substance, the kinetic energy of its particles increases, causing them to move faster. This raises the substance’s internal energy, which we measure as temperature.

So, the more internal energy a substance has, the higher its temperature will be. Heating a substance transfers energy to its particles, increasing their kinetic energy and thereby the internal energy. This results in a temperature rise.

• Keep in mind, that different materials require different amounts of energy to change their temperature.

## Calculating Specific Heat Capacity

Specific heat capacity is the energy required to raiseone kilogram (kg) of a substance by one degree Celsius (°C). The equation for this is:

• ΔEt is thermal energy in joules (J)
• m is mass in kilograms (kg)
• c is specific heat capacity in joules per kilogram per degrees Celsius (J/kg°C)
• ∆θ is temperature change in degrees Celsius (°C)

The specific heat capacity of water is 4,200 J/kg°C. This indicates that 4,200 joules of energy are needed to increase the temperature of 1 kg of water by 1°C.

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