Thermal Physics

States of Matter

What determines the amount of energy required to increase the temperature of a substance?

No. Carbon dioxide (CO2) goes from the solid state called dry ice directly to its gaseous state. This process is called sublimation.

The amount of energy needed to increase the temperature of a substance with a mass of one kilogram by one degree Celsius is called the specific heat capacity. For example, to raise one kilogram of water (one liter) by a degree Celsius requires 4,186 joules of energy. The following table lists specific heat capacities of common solids, liquids, and gases:

Substance Specific Heat Capacity
(J/kg °C)
Aluminum 897
Copper 387
Iron 445
Lead 129
Gold 129
Silver 235
Mercury 140
Wood 1,700
Glass 837
Water 4,186
Ice 2,090
Steam 2,010
Nitrogen 1,040
Oxygen 912
Carbon Dioxide 833
Ammonia 2,190


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