# What is Specific Heat Capacity? | Definition, Units, Types – Thermometry and Calorimetry

Specific Heat Definition:
The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of unit mass of the substance through 1°C is called its specific heat.

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## What is Specific Heat Capacity? | Definition, Units, Types – Thermometry and Calorimetry

Specific Heat Symbol:
It is denoted by c or s.

Specific Heat Unit:
Its SI unit is ‘joule/kilogram-°C’ (J/kg-°C) or Jkg-1K-1

Dimensional Formula of Specific Heat:
The dimensional formula is [L2T2θ-1].

Specific Heat of Water:
The specific heat of water is 4200 J kg-1°C-1 or 1 cal g-1 C-1 which is high as compared with most other substances.

Specific Heat Capacity Formula:
The amount of heat energy required to change the temperature of any substance is given by

Q = mcΔt

where,
m = mass of the substance,
c = specific heat of the substance and
Δt = change in temperature

### Gases have two types of specific heat

1. The specific heat capacity at constant volume (Cv).
2. The specific heat capacity at constant pressure (Cp).

Specific heat at constant pressure (Cp) is greater than specific heat at constant volume (Cv), i.e. Cp>Cv.
For molar specific heats, Cp – Cv = R
where, R = gas constant and this relation is called Mayer’s formula.

The ratio of two principal sepecific heats of a gas is represented by γ, i.e.

γ = $$\frac{C _{p}}{C_{V}}$$

The value of γ depends on atomicity of the gas.

Thermometry and Calorimetry:
The thermometer is a device used to check the temperature of an object. This branch of measurement of the temperature of a substance is called thermometry. It is measured in degrees or Fahrenheit, usually.

Calorimetry also means the measurement of heat but in joules. It states the amount of heat lost by the body is the amount of heat gained by its surrounding.