We can use the heat capacity to determine the heat released or absorbed by a material using the following formula:
where m, is the mass of the substance (in grams), C, is the specific heat capacity, and ΔT is the change in temperature during the heat transfer. Note that both mass and specific heat capacity can only have positive values, so the sign of q, end text will depend on the sign of ΔT. We can calculate ΔT. end text using the following equation:
ΔT = Tfinal − Tinitial
where Tfinal and Tinitial can have units of either ∘C or K, Based on this equation, if q, is positive (energy of the system increases), then our system increases in temperature and Tfinal > Tinitial . If q, is negative (energy of the system decreases), then our system’s temperature decreases and Tfinal > Tinitial.