# What is this equation for?

I have been given a formula on the topic of alloys and temperature, however am unsure specifically what this equation calculates. The equation is as follows:

$xC_{1} + (1 - x) C_{2} = C_{3}$

I am assuming that the C's will be given (and possibly represent Specific Heat?) - however exactly what is this equation to represent? What does solving for $x$ achieve?

I know that the letters used may vary, however our teacher has provided no more information due to sickness. I have provided all the information I know.

• $x$ would be the fraction of C1 in C3; the fraction of C2 in C3 is 1 minus the fraction of C1. I don't think physical attributes of an alloy can be determined from the fractional amount of their parent metals. – LDC3 Nov 12 '14 at 3:23

I fear that without additional information it will be difficult to provide you with a definitive answer. The $x$ usually represents the mole fraction and in the context of a 2-component alloy this seems plausible. The $C$s might indeed be specific heat constants, i.e. $C_{3}$ would be the specific heat of the alloy and $C_{1}$ and $C_{2}$ would be the specific heats of the components making up the alloy, whereby component 1 would have a mole fraction of $x$ and component 2 would have a mole fraction of $(1-x)$. For a mixture of ideal gases such a formula would be correct but I doubt that it will work well with alloys in the real world. But if this came up in the context of a school lesson then the approximation might be ok.