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2014-09-19T02:15:30+05:30

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The question is related to how we make use of the physical property of specific heat of substances in our daily life to our advantage.

Specific heat or specific heat capacity  s =  heat capacity / mass
or, ΔQ = m s (T₂ - T₁)

Specific heat gives the amount of heat energy required for heating a substance of 1 unit mass by 1 °C. So more the specific heat, more the energy required for heating the substance.

1)  Utensils used for making tea or coffee, or cooking vegetables or rice are made of materials of low specific heat. They are polished at the bottom. So they get heated quicker. For example, copper, aluminum etc.

2)  Materials of high specific heat can be used as insulators. For example wood has a high specific heat. Wooden houses will keep the inside cooler during summer. Builders can choose building materials appropriately depending on the location and altitude. That allows to build warmer houses or cooler houses.

3)  The handles of utensils at home are made of materials which have very high specific heat.  They act as thermal insulators. The insulating capability or conductivity is also dependent on specific heat.

4)  Instrument like thermometer, the body may be made of higher specific heat and the tip is made of material of low specific heat.

5) The water in swimming pool remains cool even in summer and people enjoy a lot staying inside the pool. The reason is high specific heat of water.

6)  Steam has a high specific heat (more than water). Steam is used to carry a lot of heat energy at high pressures to run rail engines or rotors in AC generators.


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