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How do I calculate the heat lost or gained by surroundings (Q surr) given mass ($m$), change in temp ($\Delta T$), and specific heat ($c$)? What equation would I use?

How can I tell whether it's lost or gained?

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closed as too localized by Waffle's Crazy Peanut, joshphysics, Manishearth Apr 29 '13 at 4:25

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Hi Melanie. Welcome to Physics.SE. Your question looks like a formula suggestion. If it's so, a quick google would've provided you the result... –  Waffle's Crazy Peanut Apr 28 '13 at 20:01
    
Yeah, I could use the formula. My chem book has several formula example, but I'm having a lot of trouble grokking this (perhaps lots of variables being thrown at me at once.) –  Melanie Apr 28 '13 at 20:03
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I'd be quite surprised if your chem book didn't include the formula you're looking for. If you're having a hard time making sense of the formulas you're given, could you edit the question to list what those formulas are and why you don't think they're the one you're looking for? Also try checking standard resources like Wikipedia. We're very happy to answer questions about the meanings of formulas, but if you're just asking someone to give you a basic formula, that's not really the sort of question this site is meant for. –  David Z Apr 28 '13 at 22:12

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

That depends on what you mean by "heat". If you mean energy then you can calculate the energy required to cause the temperature change using the following equation: Energy = mass * specific heat capacity * temperature change (Q = mcθ).

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So is θ the same thing as ΔT? –  Melanie Apr 28 '13 at 21:44

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