Science, Tech, Math › Science Specific Heat Definition Share Flipboard Email Print Specific heat is the energy in joules required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of sample 1 kelvin. Dina Belenko Photography, Getty Images Science Chemistry Chemical Laws Basics Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated June 04, 2019 Specific heat is the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of a body per unit of mass. Specific heat is also known as specific heat capacity or mass specific heat.In SI units, specific heat (symbol: c) is the amount of heat in joules required to raise 1 gram of a substance 1 Kelvin. Usually, specific heat is reported in joules (J). Examples: Water has a specific heat of 4.18 J. Copper has a specific heat of 0.39 J. Source Halliday, David; Resnick, Robert (2013). Fundamentals of Physics. Wiley. p. 524.