# Specific heat problems [closed]

I am in need of help for my understanding in specific heat capacity. To be honest, I understand the lesson effectively, However, just a few days ago, I've encountered two similar yet different-in-approach problems. Here are the problems: 1.) A sample of gold was dropped to a glass of water. The water had a given initial temperature that was higher than the gold. Eventually, a final temperature for both elements were given. The problem was asking for the mass of the gold?

The solution showed to me that the heat of the gold (qgold) released is equal to the heat of water (qwater) absorbed.

qgold = -qwater

Now, I can see that the glass which served as the container of the water was not included in the equation. As far as I can get the logic of this, the second problem seemed to have a different approach but this time the container is involved in the heat transfer. Now this is the second problem:

2.) An unknown sample with a given mass and given initial temperature was dropped to a can with water. The can and the water had a similar initial temperature, but the two had a different mass. The final temperature of all elements present in this problem was given. The problem was asking for the specific heat of this unknown sample. The thing is, this is the part where I am a bit confused because the solution given to me was this:

q of unknown substance = q of the can + q of water

Now, what I really want to ask is this: When do I consider including the heat of the container of the system in this type of problem, as it is very situational in this case? My professor told me it's about material thing. However, I seem to not deem my professor's explanation to be sufficient, for I know a better explanation could be given.

I hope I would get a very comprehensive reply as soon as possible.

Thank you!

## closed as primarily opinion-based by Mithoron, A.K., Jon Custer, DrMoishe Pippik, TyberiusAug 6 '18 at 3:36

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