How much heat is absorbed by 60.00 grams of copper when it is heated from 293 Kelvins to 353 Kelvins?

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t-nez | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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To calculate this you need to know the specific heat capacity of copper, which is 

c = 0.385 Joules/gram-degree Celsius. This is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one gram of copper one degree Celsius (or one Kelvin, since the size of the Celsius degree and the Kelvin are the same.)

The heat absorbed, q, is calculated as follows: q = mc`Delta` T

`Delta` T = (353K-293K) = 60.0K

so q = (60.00g)( 0.385 J/g-K)(60.0 K) = 1370 Joules

The specific heat capacity varies for different substances so two objects that absorb the same amount of heat won't necessarily have the same temperature change. Metals tend to have low heat capacities, which is why they are good thermal conductors. Water has a relatively high heat capacity. It's used to cool objects because of its ability to absorb heat, for example car engines and nuclear reactors.