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Physics Form 4

Chapter 4: Heat

Specific latent heat, l


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Amount of heat required to change phase of 1 kg of the substance to a constant temperature. l=Q/M Q = latent heat absorbed or released by the substance M = mass of substance Q = M / l or if heat supplied electrically, Pt = ml Unit: J kg-1

Specific latent heat of fusion

Amount of heat energy required to change 1 kg of a substance from a solid phase to a liquid without a change in temperature. Temperature depends on average kinetic energy. Heat absorbed by solid is used to overcome the forces of attraction between the molecules. Average kinetic energy does not change temperature remains constant during fusion. Solidification heat is released as the particles move back to their fixed positions in the regular structure.

Specific latent heat of vaporization

Amount of heat energy required to change 1 kg of a substance from the liquid phase to the gaseous phase without a change in temperature at its boiling point. Vaporization heat absorbed by the liquid is used to overcome the forces of attraction between its molecules which disperse as molecules of gas To do work against the external atmospheric pressure as it expands into a gas The average kinetic energy does not increase vaporisation occurs at a constant rate.

Applications of specific latent heat

Water as a coolant

Steam for cooking


1 kg of steam

1 kg of ice melts 3.36 x 10^5 J kg^-1 of latent heat absorbed by surroundings Good for maintaining other substances at low temperature Drinks cooled with ice drink absorbs large latent heat Freezing fish ice absorb latent heat from them when it melts

2.26 x 10^6 J kg^-1 heat released Food can be cooked at a higher rate the latent heat released directly onto the food