Why does WATER have a high SPECIFIC HEAT?

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When heating up a substance (in our case a liquid) the heat causes the molecules into the substance to increase their thermal agitation. This in turn causes a raise of the temperature of the substance. In water (because its molecules are polar) there are hydrogen bonds between molecules. These bonds do not let much place for the molecules to oscillate very much when water is heated up. It means more heat needs to be added to water to cause the same increase in temperature as compared to other substances. Also this leads to a very high specific heat of water as compared to other common substances.

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