# Measure the specific heat of water and other fluids

This is a simple experiment to measure the "specific heat" (also called "specific heat capacity") of any fluid. In addition to the principle of specific heat, the experiment also demonstrates some basic electrical principles such as Ohm's law.

Specific heat is typically quoted in units of J/g/K or J/g/degreeC (Joules per gram per Kelvin or Joules per gram per degree Celcius). For example, if a substance has a heat capacity of 2 J/g/degreeC that means it takes 2 Joules of energy to raise the temperature of 1 gram of the substance by 1 degree Celcius. Note that when we are talking about temperature changes rather than absolute temperatures, a Kelvin is the same as a degree Celcius.

Why would you want to know the specific heat of a fluid? Well, suppose you want to Build your own flat panel solar thermal collector and you'd like to find or create a fluid that can store lots of energy for a small change in temperature. You might want to experiment with different fluid compositions to see what has the highest specific heat.
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There is no such thing as a "degree Kelvin". Only Kelvin.
iwilltry (author)  HisRoyalThighness7 years ago
Thanks. Fixed. Did you created your user account just to tell me that?
7 years ago
Yes, all in the name of science!
6 years ago
lame
5 years ago
epic
5 years ago
meal
5 years ago
what?
5 years ago
exactly...
5 years ago
what?
5 years ago
Just as I suspected...
5 years ago
...You are...umm...EATING!
5 years ago
OK...I'll tell you what it means...the suspense has been building long enough...OK, are y'all ready for this...OK...brace yourselves... OK, I first said it was lame, as you can see above, where it says "lame", but then I re-examined the instructable and found it to be not so lame, so I had to 'eat my words' so to speak, so if I was going to have to 'eat my words' as I have said, then I was going to 'make a "meal" of it', so to speak, and, conveniently, the letters of lame, rearanged, spell meal, so I did not even have to cook up a new message to make a "meal" of it, rather just use the ingredients I had on hand, mixing up the 'l', the 'a', the 'm' and the 'e' to produce a "meal" clever, no?
5 years ago
yeah, eat that...ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...wait, I haven't finished...ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...get it, eat that...ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...classic
5 years ago
im just glad aliens took over pluto
I learned this stuff in chemisty using heated metals. Great instructable coverage.
Mr. Rig It7 years ago
Nice! Very nicely done. Kudos to you on format and explanation. I like how you relate this instructable to the solar water heating instructable. I am also really impressed with your final step where you cover error sources, improvements and further reading. A+