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Specific heat of substances table
Table shows specific heat capacity of selected gases, solids and liquids.

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metals

SubstanceMolecular formulaSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
aluminum (pure)-900
brass-375
bronze, manganese-370
bronze, phosphor-370
cadmium-234
chromium-452
cobalt-435
copper (pure)-385
gold-129
iron-444
lead-160
magnesium-1050
magnesium, alloy-1010
manganese-460
molybdenum-272
nickel-461
platinum-133
silver-237
steel, carbon-490
tin-228
titanium-523
tungsten-132
uranium-116
zinc-388

other materials

SubstanceMolecular formulaSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
siliconSi705
ice (frozen water, 0°C)H2O1760
asphalt, crushed-920
brick-900
cement-1550
paper-1336
window glass-815
organic glass (plexiglass)-2440

liquids

SubstanceMolecular formulaSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
acetoneCO(CH3)22150
glycerinC3H5(OH)32386
ethanol (alcohol)C2H5OH2440
oil, petroleum-2130
gasoline-2220
mercuryHg139
water 0°CH2O4189.9
water 25°CH2O4150

alcohols

SubstanceMolecular formulaSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
ethanol (alcohol)C2H5OH2440

other inorganic

SubstanceMolecular formulaSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
ammoniaNH32190

gases

Specific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
Specific heat (Cv)
[J / (kg × K)]
ammonia21901660
helium51903120
hydrogen1430010163
nitrogen1030735
carbon dioxide844655
dry air (normal conditions, 0°C and 1013,25 hPa)1003716

oxides

SubstanceMolecular formulaSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
carbon dioxideCO2844

plastics

SubstanceMolecular formulaSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
bakelite-1380
nylon-1310
polycarbonate-1100
polyethylene-1550
rubber, hard-2010

wood

SubstanceMolecular formulaSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
balsa wood-1700
cork wood-2000
bamboo wood-1680
pine wood-1300
larch wood-1400
alder wood-1400
birch-tree wood-1900
maple wood-1600
oak wood-2400
beech wood-1300
ash wood-1600

Some facts

  • Specific heat is a physical quantity determining the amount of energy (heat) that should be supplied (transferred) to one unit of substance mass to raise the temperature by one unit.
  • The basic specific heat unit in the SI system is joule per kilogram per kelvin:
    Jkg×K\frac{J}{kg × K}
  • Specific heat is a property of substance (the so-called material constant). Also, it depends on external conditions: pressure and temperature.
  • The specific heat tells us how difficult it is to heat the given body. Substances with low specific heat change their temperature easily, whereas high ones require much more energy delivered to achieve identical effect.
  • To calculate the specific heat of the selected substance, we can use the following formula:
    c=ΔQm×ΔTc = \frac{\Delta Q}{m \times \Delta T}
    where:
    • cc - specific heat of the substance,
    • ΔQ\Delta Q - amount of heat delivered,
    • mm - mass of the heated sample,
    • ΔT\Delta T - noted temperature change.
  • Due to the high compressibility of gases, two values of specific heat are given in their case:
    • CpC_p - specific heat under constant pressure,
    • CvC_v - specific heat under constant volume.
    *) Compressibility is the property of a substance meaning that substance changes volume significantly under pressure.

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