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Measurement of Heat

Teacher/Instructor Matt Jones
Matt Jones

M.Ed., George Washington University
Dept. chair at a high school

Matt is currently the department chair at a high school in San Francisco. In his spare time, Matt enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and two kids.

Measurement of heat is done in calories. One calorie is the amount of energy required to raise one gram of water one degree Celsius. To measure heat, you divide the change in temperature of a sample of water by the mass of the water.

Measurement of heat, so how can we measure heat? Remember heat is the flow of energy from a hot object to a cold object or from something that's hotter to something that's colder. Well the way we can measure that heat is by using something called the Calorie. The Calorie is a measurement of amount of heat in a substance and that is basically what's the amount of energy that's required to raise one gram of water by one degree Celsius and we the formula we can use to calculate this is the change in temperature Celsius divided by the mass of the water that was heated with that.

Let's look at an example of how you could calculate the measure of heat how you could calculate calories. Let's say we have a food sample and when the food sample is burned and heat raises 25grams of water from 10 degrees Celsius to 85 degrees Celsius, how many Calories were released by that food? And let's assume here that we got all the energy from that food to heat up the water, we didn't lose a lot to the environment and to other places that all that energy was transferred directly to the water okay so we can just set that up. We've got our change in temperature okay over our mass of the water okay which that you know we're going to use then grams our scientific units, so change in temperature our final temperature was 85 degrees Celsius, our initial temperature was, I'm sorry, 10 degrees Celsius and our mass of our water was 25 grams okay so if we divide that we get 75 degrees Celsius that's our change in temperature divided by 25 grams of water that's going to equal 3 Calories so that food sample produced 3 Calories and 3 Calories is the measurement of the heat that was transferred from that food into the water or the transferred heat the measurement of heat.