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Mechanical Equivalent of Heat By AD Haynes Abstract Introduction Long before physicists recognized that heat is a form of energy transfer resulting from the random microscopic motion of atoms they defined heat in terms of the temperature changes it produces in a body The traditional unit of heat is the calorie cal which is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 g of water by 1C The kilocalorie is 1000 cal 1 kcal 1000 cal Incidentally the calories marked on some packages of food in grocery stores are actually kilocalories sometimes called large calories The heat necessary to raise the temperature of 1 kg of a material by 1C is called the specific heat capacity or the specific heat usually designated by the symbol c Thus by definition water has a specific heat of c 1 kcalkgC Specific heat varies from substance to substance see Appendix A Table A4 and varies with temperature For example the specific heat of water varies by about 1 between 0C and 100C reaching a minimum of 35C This variation must be taken into account for a precise definition of the calorie a calorie is the heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 g of water from say 145C to 155C Finally the specific heat depends on the pressure to which the material is subjected during the heating Since specific heat is defined as the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of 1kg of a given substance by 1C the amount of heat Q required to increase the temperature of a mass m by T is proportional to m and to T and can be found by the equation Q m c T This merely says that a large mass or a large temperature change requires more heat in proportion to the mass and to the temperature change Incidentally
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