When alcohol and water are heated, which of the two has a greater temperature change? Why?

Expert Answers

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When we heat a substance the change in its temperature is determined by the specific heat of the substance. The specific heat of a substance is given as the amount of heat required to change temperature of 1 gram of the substance by 1 degree Celsius.

The specific heat of water is 4.18 joules / degree Celsius* g. The specific heat of alcohol is 2.46 joules / degree Celsius* g.

This means that to raise water and alcohol by the same temperature we require 4.18/2.46 times more heat for water. Therefore water will get heated at a slower rate than alcohol.

The temperature change for alcohol is more when the same heat is applied to water as well as alcohol.

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