Thermal Conductivity and Specific Heat
Date: June 2006
Is there a relation between thermal conductivity
and specific heat (heat capacity)? You may except metal solids.
The short answer is "No". There is no relationship at all
between thermal conductivity and specific heat. This is not
only true among different elements, alloys, compounds, etc,
where many examples can be shown of substances that have high
thermal conductivities and low specific heat, yet other
examples can easily be called to mind that are the exact
opposite. This can also easily be demonstrated with
allotropes of many common elements. For example, compare
graphite and diamond. Both are pure carbon; chemically
identical. The only difference is crystal structure. Graphite
has a specific heat that is about 50% higher than diamond.
But diamond has a thermal conductivity that is more than 800
times better than graphite. Thermal conductivity and specific
heat are quite clearly unrelated.
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Update: June 2012