# Thermal capacity

Heat capacity (usually denoted by a capital C, often with subscripts), or thermal capacity, is the measurable physical quantity that shows the amount of heat required to change the temperature of a substance by a given amount. In the International System of Units(SI), heat capacity is expressed in units of joule(s) (J) per kelvin (K).

Derived quantities that specify heat capacity as an intensive property, i.e., independent of the size of a sample, are the molar heat capacity, which is the heat capacity per mole of a pure substance, and the specific heat capacity, often simply called specific heat, which is the heat capacity per unit mass of a material. Occasionally, in engineering contexts, a volumetric heat capacity is used. Because heat capacities of materials tend to mirror the number of atoms or particles they contain, when intensive heat capacities of various substances are expressed directly or indirectly per particle number, they tend to vary within a much more narrow range.