Heat Capacity Calculator

Created by Gabriela Diaz
Last updated: Sep 20, 2022

With this heat capacity calculator, you can instantly find the amount of heat required to increase by one degree, the temperature of a given amount of substance, a.k.a. its heat capacity or thermal capacity.

We've also created an accompanying text where you'll learn:

  • What heat capacity is;
  • The heat capacity equation;
  • How to calculate heat capacity; and
  • An example to calculate the heat capacity of water.

What is heat capacity?

Heat capacity, also known as thermal capacity, is an extensive property of matter that indicates the amount of heat required to increase a given quantity of matter's temperature by one degree.

As with any other extensive property, it depends on the amount of mass. For instance, the heat needed to heat one cup of water is not the same as the amount you'd require for eight cups. Even though they're the same substance and have the same specific heat, their masses are different.

If you know the mass and specific heat of an object, you can determine its heat capacity. This is the heat capacity equation:

S=c×m\small S = c \times m

where:

  • SS – Heat capacity, usually in J/K\text{J/K};
  • cc – Specific heat capacity, in J/kgK\text{J/kg}\cdot \text{K}; and
  • mm – Mass of substance.

As you can see, heat capacity depends on the body's mass and its specific heat capacity. Heat capacity is the property of an object. In contrast, specific heat capacity is a property of the material the object is made of.

💡 Would you like to learn more about specific heat and the specific heat of water? Then you'll find our specific heat calculator helpful!

Another way you could use to determine the heat capacity of an object is through the heat transfer equation:

Q=c×m×ΔT\small Q = c \times m \times \Delta T

From here, we can get a heat capacity equation:

S=QΔT=c×m\small S = \cfrac{Q}{\Delta T} = c \times m

where:

  • QQ – Amount of heat supplied to increase the temperature of the object; and
  • ΔT\Delta T – Temperature difference, in KK.

Heat capacities can also be empirically measured. With these measurements, it's possible to find the entropy change of different substances. You can learn more about entropy with our entropy calculator.

🙋 Now that you know how to calculate the heat capacity, why not expand your knowledge on the heat energy absorbed or released during a phase change with our latent heat calculator?

How to calculate heat capacity

Determining the heat capacity of an object using the heat capacity calculator couldn't be easier. Simply enter the Mass (m) of the substance, select your Substance from the drop-down menu, and the calculator will display the object's Heat capacity (S). Yes, it's that simple! 😉

For example, imagine that you'd like to find the heat capacity of water. In this case, we're interested in heating 10 kg of water at 25°C. To do so:

  1. Enter the Mass (m) of water, 10 kg.

  2. From the Substance drop-down menu, select Water at 25°C (liquid).

  3. The calculator will automatically indicate water's specific heat, 4184 J/kg·K.

  4. In the Heat capacity (S), the calculator will display the heat capacity of water, 4184 J/K.

To learn more about water heating, we highly recommend looking at our water heating calculator!

🙋 Can't find your substance in the preloaded list of materials? You can manually input your custom substance's Specific heat (c).

Gabriela Diaz
Mass (m)
lb
Substance (optional)
Custom ▾
Specific heat (c)
BTU/(lb·°F)
Heat capacity (S)
BTU/°F
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