SAT Subject Physics Practice Question 288: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 288

59. A block of aluminum and a block of iron each absorb the same amount of heat, and both blocks remain solid. The mass of the aluminum block is twice the mass of the iron block. If the specific heat of aluminum is twice the specific heat of iron, then

A. the increase in temperature of the aluminum block is twice the increase in temperature of the iron block
B. the increase in temperature of the aluminum block is four times the increase in temperature of the iron block
C. the increase in temperature of the aluminum block is the same as increase in temperature of the iron block
D. the increase in temperature of the iron block is twice the increase in temperature of the aluminum block
E. the increase in temperature of the iron block is four times the increase in temperature of the aluminum block

Correct Answer: E

Explanation:

We use the equation q = mcΔT. Since both the aluminum block and the iron block absorb the same amount of heat, we have mAlcAlΔTAl = mFecFeΔTFe, where “Al” denotes aluminum and “Fe” denotes iron. Now, because mAl = 2mFe and cAl = 2cFe, we have

(2mFe)(2cFeTAl = mFecFeΔTFe ⇒ 4ΔTAl = ΔTFe

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