SAT Subject Physics Practice Question 634: Answer and Explanation
Five blocks having equal mass but made of different substances, as shown above, are heated to 100°C and placed on separate 10 kg blocks of ice that are at a temperature of 0°C. Which substance melts the greatest amount of ice?
A. The substance with the lowest specific heat.
B. The substance with the highest specific heat.
C. The substance with the greatest surface area.
D. The substance with the smallest surface area.
E. The substance that started with the highest temperature.
Correct Answer: B
The correct answer is (B). The substance that has the largest specific heat contains the most heat at a given temperature for an equal mass of the substance. Since the substance with the largest specific heat contains the most heat, it will have the most heat content to transfer to the melting of the ice.