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Specific Heat Example Problem

Worked Example Problems

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This worked example problem demonstrates how to calculate the specific heat of a substance when given the amount of energy used to change the substance's temperature.

Problem:

It takes 487.5 J to heat 25 grams of copper from 25 °C to 75 °C. What is the specific heat in Joules/g·°C?

Solution:

Use the formula

q = mcΔT

where
q = heat energy
m = mass
c = specific heat
ΔT = change in temperature

487.5 J = (25 g)c(75 °C - 25 °C)
487.5 J = (25 g)c(50 °C)

Solve for c:

c = 487.5 J/(25g)(50 °C)
c = 0.39 J/g·°C

Answer:

The specific heat of copper is 0.39 J/g·°C.

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