Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 15 - Think and Discuss: 98


Such materials will have a high specific heat capacity.

Work Step by Step

Physically, differences in specific heat capacity arise because materials absorb and store internal energy in different ways, as stated on page 290. For example, a substance composed of a complicated molecule might have many so-called "degrees of freedom". When heat is added, the molecules will begin vibrating and spinning, leaving less internal energy for their translational KE. So the overall molecules won't be moving as fast, meaning the temperature hasn't gone up that much. This greater capacity for absorbing energy means that the substance has a high specific heat capacity.
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