Specific heat capacity, c, of a body is the heat that is needed to increase the heat of a unit of mass or the substance by 1°C or 1K. The unit of specific heat capacity is J kg-1°C-1. For example, the specific heat capacity of water is 4200 J kg-1°C-1 . This means that 4200J of heat is needed to increase the temperature of 1 Kg of water by 1°C. The following are briefly about the application of Specific Heat capacity in daily situations.
1. Substances having a small specific heat capacity can be quickly heated up, it also experience a big change in temperature even though only small amount of heat is supplied.
2. Substances having a small specific heat capacity, are very useful as material in cooking instruments such as frying pans, pots, kettles and so on, because, they can be quickly heated up even when small amount oh heat is supplied.
3. Sensitive thermometers also must be made from materials with small specific heat capacity so that it can detect and show a change of temperature rapidly and accurately.
4. Substances that have a high specific heat capacity is suitable as a material for constructing kettle handlers, insulators and oven covers, because, a high amount of heat will cause only a small change in temperature aka the material won’t get hot too fast!
5. Heat storage instruments are very useful and they are usually made of substances with a high specific heat capacity.
6. Water as a cooling agent acts excellent as a cooling agent in engines. Water is also used in houses in cold climate countries because as it is heated up (boiled) it tends to retain heat and warm the house due to its high specific heat capacity. When ice melts. There is a change of phase from solid to liquid. The ice absorbs heat from the surroundings. The heat energy absorbed by the ice does not cause the increase in temperature. The energy absorbed is not transferred to the molecules of ice as kinetic energy.