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# Q=MC delta t , What if you're trying to find the mass?

So that's the equation for finding the amount of heat energy right? But what do we do if we try to find mass? Like i know how to re-arrange it, it's Q/t/C but im having problems witht the algebra. do you divide Q over t first and then divide that answer by C? Is that correct?

And can someone explain the formula to me? im having some difficulties. What does C stand for? is it the specific heat capacity, and does each element have a specific heat capacity?

### 6 Answers

- PearlsawmeLv 78 years agoFavorite Answer
you divide Q over t first and then divide that answer by C.

Or

You divide Q over C first and then divide that answer by t

Both are the same .

Or

Find the product of C and t first. Then divide Q over by the product of Ct.

C is the specific heat capacity and

Each material has a specific heat capacity.

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- 8 years ago
Hey, you should really emphasis on mathematics. When you subsequently divide to several numbers, the order you make it doesn't matters. That is equivalent to division by the product of them.

(If you divide by 3, then by 2, that means you divide by 6, as if first you do it by 2, then by 3).

The specific heat capacity (C) is an intrinsic property of every substance (as the specific weight, density, resistance and so on).

In your case M = Q/(C * delta t). Be careful to get them in an appropriate units.

- 8 years ago
Hi! There are some issues where quantum mechanics and advanced math is needed, but for right now, classically speaking, this should be sufficient for everyday purposes.

To make things simple:

M = Q / (delta_t * C)

Take Q and divide by prodict of delta_t and C. Technically, yes, you can divide Q by delta_t and then divide that by C but why not just make it clean? Easier to track error that way.

What the formula is telling you is that every material has an ability to store energy as heat and that if you were to graph the heat as a function of temperature, you would see a linear relationship i.e. the mass and heat capacity are the slope of that graph. So that means heat capacity reflects how much energy or heat is required to change the temperature of something.

The heat capacity varies between materials. For example, water has a relatively large heat capacity. That means it can store more energy/heat. We notice this when we get burned eating pizza cheese and sauce that mostly consists of water. But crust on the other hand, has a lot of air and evaporated water and thus has a much smaller heat capacity and is a better insulator; therefore, you dont get burned as much.

Yet another example is the explanation for why coastal cities generally have more temperate climate ranges relative to their temperatures than the deserts. So much water heats during daytime and dissipates that heat to keep temperatures more steady whereas in the desert, you go from 100 degrees high to 40 degrees low.

Hope that helps!

Source(s): Im a physicist. - KnowallLv 58 years ago
Sorry but you have serious problem with your English as well as Algebra.

Never mind, you can improve.

Yes each element has a specific heat. Delta means the difference in the temperature caused by this heat Q.

So to find Mass, you just divide Q by product of temperature difference and C.

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- 8 years ago
C is the specific heat capacity of water, which I can't remember right now but it's normally given to you. Normally water is involved in the reaction. M, c and deltaT are all multiplied together, so you move c and T over at the same time- they remain multiplied so it's Q/(c x deltaT) I hope that makes sense :)