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Ratio of heat absorbed by a material to the change in temperature. It is usually expressed as calories per degree in terms of the amount of the material being considered. Heat capacity and its temperature variation depend on differences in energy levels for atoms. Heat capacities are measured with a calorimeter and are important as a means of determining the entropies of materials. See alsospecific heat.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on heat capacity, visit Britannica.com.