Difference Between Specific Heat and Latent Heat

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These variables can give different values according to the circumstances and conditions of the experiment. Specific heat and Latent heat are such variables.

Specific Heat vs Latent Heat

The difference between Specific Heat and Latent Heat is the phase where they are measured. Specific heat is a measurement of the heat required for changing the temperature of a substance by 1 degree. The substance used should be in the quantity of 1gm in the condition of constant pressure whereas Latent heat is a measurement of energy, either released or absorbed during a change of phase of a substance.

Specific Heat vs Latent Heat

Specific heat is a measurement of the heat required for changing the temperature of a substance by 1 degree. The substance used should be in the quantity of 1gm which is fixed for the standard. The pressure remains constant while this changes.

The Latent heat is a measurement of the energy exchange which can be either absorbed or released during the process. The process includes the changing of the phase of a given substance.

The process of release or absorption of heat does not lead to a change in temperature.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Specific Heat Latent Heat 
Definition Specific heat is the heat required for change of temperature by 1 degree for the quantity of 1gm in constant pressure. The Latent heat is a measurement of the energy exchange which can be either absorbed or released during the process. 
Time It is the heat at the time of change in the temperature of the substance.  It is the heat at the time of change in the phase of the substance. 
Temperature In the process of specific heat temperature changes.  In the process of latent heat, no temperature change occurs. 
Phase Change Specific Heat is not considered in the case of phase change.  In the process of latent heat, a phase change occurs. 
In relation to water To change the water’s temperature by 1 degree Celsius, the amount of energy required is 4.186 J.   To change the phase of water from liquid to air, the required temperature is 100 degrees Celsius and energy respectively. 

What is Specific Heat?

Specific heat is a measurement of the heat required for changing the temperature of a substance by 1 degree. The substance used should be in the quantity of 1gm which is fixed for the standard measurements.

The pressure remains constant while this change of temperature. Specific heat is the heat required for the process of change in the temperature of the substance. The dependability of the process on temperature varies for each process.

In the specific heat, In the process of specific heat temperature changes. Specific Heat is not considered in the case of phase change as the phase gets changed despite temperature change.

To change the water’s temperature by 1 degree Celsius, the amount of energy required is 4.186 J which is the specific heat for the water.

As the heat required also varies with the quantity of the substance, it is kept standardized as 1 gm for all the calculations. That makes it independent of the amount of the substance.

The unit for the specific heat is Jg-1oC-1. The equation used for calculation is q = m x s x ∆t where m denotes the mass of substance, s for the specific heat, ∆t changes in temperature, and q for the required heat.

What is Latent Heat?

The Latent heat is a measurement of the energy exchange which can be either absorbed or released during the process. The process includes the changing of the phase of a given substance.

The process of release or absorption of heat does not lead to a change in temperature. All the energy is given to change the phase of the substance, not in changing temperature.

Latent heat is the heat required at the time of change in the phase of the substance.

The dependability of the process on temperature varies for each process. In the process of latent heat, no temperature change occurs, all the energy is used for the conversion.

In the process of latent heat, a phase change occurs, and according to that heat is measured and it is also determined whether it is released or absorbed. To change the phase of water from liquid to air, the required temperature is 100 degrees

Celsius and the energy is absorbed for the conversion of phase. After that energy used is calculated by the appropriate equations.

There are two forms of latent heat which are latent heat of fusion and latent heat of vaporization. These both are for different phase change conversions.

Main Differences Between Specific Heat and Latent Heat

  1. The difference between Specific Heat and Latent Heat is the phase where they are measured. Specific heat is a measurement of the heat required for changing the temperature of a substance by 1 degree. The substance used should be in the quantity of 1gm in the condition of constant pressure whereas Latent heat is a measurement of energy, either released or absorbed during a change of phase of a substance. 
  2. Specific heat is the heat required for the process of change in temperature of substance whereas Latent heat is the heat required on the time of change in phase of a substance. 
  3. The dependability of the process on temperature varies for each process. In the specific heat, In the process of specific heat temperature changes whereas In the process of latent heat, no temperature change occurs, all the energy is used for the conversion. 
  4. Specific Heat is not considered in the case of phase change as the phase gets changed despite temperature change whereas In the process of latent heat, a phase change occurs, and according to that heat is measured and it is also determined whether it is released or absorbed. 
  5. If we consider both the process on water, To change the water’s temperature by 1 degree Celsius, the amount of energy required is 4.186 J whereas to change the phase of water from liquid to air, the required temperature is 100 degrees Celsius and the energy is absorbed for the conversion of phase. After that energy used is calculated by the appropriate equations. 

Reference

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0360132397000097
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/er.6019
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