What is meant by the specific heat of solids and liquids? How does this phenomenon help in our lives?

Expert Answers
Michael Ugulini eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The specific heat of solids and liquids pertains to the fact that, in general terms, "specific heat" is the heat needed to raise the temperature of the unit mass of a given substance by a given amount. More specifically, "specific heat" is the amount of heat that's required to raise the temperature of one gram of a material by one degree Celsius (C).

Solids include typical solids such as brick, cement, and glass, calcium sulfate, graphite, hermatite and many others. Liquids include acetone, oil, paraffin, water, bromine, castor oil, citron oil, and many others. Water has a very high specific heat capacity.

The specific heat phenomenon helps in our lives insomuch that it takes a significant amount of heat to make water hot. Therefore, the high specific heat capacity of water has much do with regulating  environment extremes. The world's water bodies, large and small, and everything in between, help regulate the temperature ranges that we experience in our communities.