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What is energy transfer, calorimetry, and the concept of specific heat capacity?

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rhee1399 | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted October 11, 2012 at 12:59 AM via web

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What is energy transfer, calorimetry, and the concept of specific heat capacity?

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ncchemist | eNotes Employee

Posted October 11, 2012 at 5:34 PM (Answer #1)

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You are only allowed to ask one question per link so I edited your question accordingly.  We are defining the terms energy transfer, calorimetry, and specific heat capacity.  Let's start with calorimetry.  Calorimetry is the study of the net heat change of chemical reactions.  It is derived from the Latin word for heat calor.  Calorimeters are the instruments used to measure the heat change of chemical reactions.  Energy transfer in this case means the thermal energy that is transferred from the chemical reaction to the surroundings in the case of exothermic reactions or from the surroundings to the reaction in the case of endothermic reactions.  The measure of this heat energy transfer is exactly what the calorimeter does.  Finally, heat capacity is the measure of energy, or heat, in Joules required to increase the temperature of a given substance by one degree Kelvin.  Specific heat capacity is the measure of the heat capacity of a substance per unit of mass (usually in kilograms).  So the units are J/(kg*K), or Joules per kilogram Kelvin.  The value of the specific heat capacity of the calorimeter is used in the calculations for calorimetry.

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