Revision Notes

2.2.4 Thermal Capacity

What is Thermal Capacity?

  • The thermal capacity of an object is the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of that object by 1 °c
  • The greater the thermal capacity of an object, the more heat energy it takes to raise its temperature
  • The thermal capacity is also equal to the amount of heat energy an object will give out when it cools by 1 °c
  • The energy, E, required to raise the temperature of an object by an amount T is given by the equation:
E = thermal capacity × T

Extended Only

Thermal Capacity & Specific Heat Capacity

  • The thermal capacity of an object is related to the specific heat capacity (see next page) by the equation:
thermal capacity=m × c

            (where c is the specific heat capacity of the material the object is made from, and m is the object’s mass)


Author: Jenna

Jenna studied at Cardiff University before training to become a science teacher at the University of Bath specialising in Biology (although she loves teaching all three sciences at GCSE level!). Teaching is her passion, and with 10 years experience teaching across a wide range of specifications – from GCSE and A Level Biology in the UK to IGCSE and IB Biology internationally – she knows what is required to pass those Biology exams.

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