Some Substances Heat more readily than Others
Temperature and Heat
If two equal quantities of water at the same temperature are exposed to the sun for the same length of time, their final temperatures will be the same. If, however, equal quantities of different substances are exposed, the temperatures resulting from the heating will not necessarily be the same. If a basin containing 1 lb. of mercury is put on the fire, side by side with a basin containing an equal quantity of water, the temperatures of the two substances will vary greatly at the end of a short time. The mercury will have a far higher temperature than the water, in spite of the fact that the amount of mercury is as great as the amount of water and that the heat received from the fire has been the same in each case. Mercury is not so difficult to heat as water; less heat being required to raise its temperature 1° than is required to raise the temperature of an equal quantity of water 1°. In fact, mercury is 30 times as easy to heat as water, and it requires only one thirtieth as much fire to heat a given quantity of mercury 1° as to heat the same quantity of water 1°.