Heat Capacity

The heat capacity of a substance is the amount of heat required to change its temperature by one degree, and has units of energy per degree

Heat Capacity - C - is a characteristic of an object - the amount of heat required to change its temperature by one degree.

  • Heat Capacity has the units of energy per degree.

The amount of heat supplied to heat an object can be expressed as:

Q = C dt                     (1)


Q = amount of heat supplied (J, Btu)

C= heat capacity of the system or object (J/K, Btu/lb oF)

dt = temperature rise (oK, oF)

The SI unit for heat capacity is J/K (joule per kelvin). In the English system, the units are British thermal units per pound per degree Fahrenheit (Btu/oF).

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