It is a known fact that equal weights of different substances absorb different quantities of heat through the same range of temperature water, for example, requires thirty times the amount required by the same quantity of mercury to raise it through a given number of degrees. These relative capacities furnish the socalled specific heats of substances, which may be defined as the ratios of their thermal capacities to that of an equal weight of water thus, the specific heat of water being taken as the unit, that of mercury is or 0033. There is a definite relation between the specific heats and the atomic weights of various solid elements, the former being inversely proportional to the numbers known as their atomic weights. This law, known as that of Dulong and Petit, is expressed by stating that the thermal capacities of atoms of the elements in the solid state are equal, and the table given above briefly illustrates this relationship. The molecular heat of a compound is the sum of the atomic heats of its constituent elements.
Did you find this definition of SPECIFIC HEATS helpful? You can share it by copying the code below and adding it to your blog or web page. Definition of SPECIFIC HEATS