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# Physics Theory : Sensible Heat & Heat Capacity

 Preparation Just what you need to know !

Sensible heat is the heat gained or lost by a body resulting in a change in temperature.

Latent heat or hidden heat is the heat gained or lost by a body during a change of state when it does not result in any change in temperature.

Heat capacity or thermal capacity of a body is defined as the amount of heat required to raise its temperature by 1oC.
The SI unit of heat capacity is J/oC (Joules per degree Celsius).

Specific heat capacity of a substance is defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a unit mass of it by 1 oC.
∴ Specific Heat Capacity = Heat capacity / Mass.
The SI unit of specific heat capacity is J/(kg oC).
However, a commonly used unit is J/(g oC).

Water has a specific heat capacity of about 4.2 J/(g oC), or 4200 J/(kg oC) in SI units.
More accurately, the specific heat capacity of water is 4.184 J/(g oC) or 4184 J/(kg oC).
The very high value for the specific heat capacity of water is responsible for land breezes, sea breezes and the weather.

The amount of sensible heat gained or lost by a body is given by the product of its heat capacity (mass × specific heat capacity) and the temperature change.
Thus, the formula worth-remembering is:
Q = m × c × (t1t2), where
Q is the amount of sensible heat gained or lost by the body,
m is the mass of the body,
c is the specific heat capacity of the material, and
t1 and t2 are the two temperatures denoting the temperature change.

Physics Quiz on Sensible Heat & Heat Capacity.

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