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Sensible heat definition, formula, examples, unit, and latent heat, of air, diagram, transfer

Sensible heat definition.

If we define sensible heat, then the heat that causes a change in temperature in a body or thermodynamic system, with no change in phase is called sensible heat.

In sensible heat, some variables remain unchanged such as volume and pressure.

Sensible heat meaning: As the name implies, sensible heat is the heat that you can sense or feel.

Sensible heat Formula: Sensible heat (Q) can be measured as the product of the body’s mass (m) with its specific heat capacity (c) and change in temperature (ΔT).


Here Q = Sensible heat.

m = Mass of the body.

c = Specific heat capacity of the body.

The Specific heat capacity→ It is the amount of heat required to change a unit mass of a substance by one unit of temperature.

Its symbol is c and units are Joule per kilogram Kelvin (J/Kg.K) and in Calories, Joule per kilogram degree Celsius (J/kg°C).

For example, the specific heat capacity of water (at 0°C) is around 4217 joule/kg.K and at 100°C, it is around 4215.9 joule/kg.K.

The Sensible heat unit: The unit is in kW(kilowatt).

Sensible heat diagram.

sensible heat
Image idea is taken from

Sensible and latent heat. 

The latent and sensible heat both are types of energy that are absorbed or release in the atmosphere.

As we know that the sensible heat is the heat that causes a change in temperature in a body or thermodynamic system, with no change in phase.

On the other hand, the latent heat is the heat that is absorbed or released by a body or any thermodynamic system at a constant temperature with a change in phase.

Sensible heat example.

In the case of boiling water, in the beginning, the water is at room temperature.

The stove continuously adding heat to the water pot and water’s temperature start to increase.

Here the change in temp of water (from room temp to the boiling temperature of the water) is due to sensible heat.

Latent heat example. 

In the above example, the heat releasing within the water vapors in the atmosphere is latent heat.

Sensible heat transfer

The transfer is simply seen within temperature difference in objects like you touch a hot cup of tea.

In this the heat in tea transfers to a cup of tea and then aftertouch, it transfers cup to your hand and you sense this heat.

Transfer of sensible heat is often seen when we measure temperature with the help of a thermometer.

If two objects are in contact then, the energy transfer from a warmer object to a cooler object. 

The sensible heat of the air

Sensible heat in the air is the heat, that is present in the form of dry air in the air and a very little quantity of moisture present in this dry air.

This dry air is not able to change the phase so that, this dry air has only the sensible heat.

In desert areas, there is a present large quantity of dry air in the air.

This is due to the sunlight hitting the surface of desert areas and some part of this solar radiation energy is absorbed by the surface and some part is release in the atmosphere by reflection.

This is the reason for forming dry air because moisture sources in desert areas are rare.

In this dry air, there are present those gases whose boiling and liquefication points are very low, so, there is no phase change happen.

Some other interesting topics.

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  3. What is Crystalline Solid, Definition, Properties, Characteristics, Examples
  4. Advantages of Nanotechnology and its application in medicines, industries, electronics
  5. What are Nanomaterials
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