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Latent Heat vs. Sensible Heat: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on January 2, 2024
Latent heat is energy absorbed or released during a phase change without temperature change, while sensible heat changes the temperature of a substance without altering its phase.

Key Differences

Latent heat is the heat absorbed or released by a substance during a phase change, like melting or boiling, without a temperature change. Sensible heat, on the other hand, causes a change in temperature of a substance but does not involve a phase change.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024
When ice melts to water, it absorbs latent heat without changing temperature. In contrast, when water is heated on a stove, it gains sensible heat, raising its temperature before boiling.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024
The process of condensation releases latent heat but the temperature of the substance remains constant. Sensible heat is felt as warmth or coldness in an object as its temperature increases or decreases.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 02, 2024
Latent heat is critical in processes like refrigeration and weather systems. Sensible heat is easily measured by a thermometer and is directly related to changes in the substance's kinetic energy.
Harlon Moss
Jan 02, 2024
The amount of latent heat required for phase change varies by substance, and is known as the heat of fusion or vaporization. Sensible heat changes are linear with temperature changes and depend on the specific heat capacity of the substance.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 02, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Heat absorbed/released during phase change without temperature change
Heat that changes temperature without phase change
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Temperature Change

No temperature change during absorption/release
Direct temperature change during heat transfer
Sumera Saeed
Jan 02, 2024

Phase Change

Involves phase change (solid, liquid, gas)
No phase change involved
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Measurement

Measured as heat of fusion/vaporization
Measured by temperature change
Janet White
Jan 02, 2024

Examples

Melting ice, boiling water
Heating water, cooling air
Harlon Moss
Jan 02, 2024
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Latent Heat and Sensible Heat Definitions

Latent Heat

Latent heat is the energy absorbed or released during a material's phase change.
The melting of ice involves the absorption of latent heat.
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023

Sensible Heat

Sensible heat refers to the heat absorbed or lost by a substance, causing a temperature change.
Heating water on a stove increases its sensible heat.
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023

Latent Heat

It's measured in terms of heat of fusion or vaporization.
The latent heat of fusion is key to understanding ice's melting process.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 23, 2023

Sensible Heat

It does not involve phase changes, only temperature variations.
Cooling a room with air conditioning reduces the sensible heat.
Janet White
Dec 23, 2023

Latent Heat

Latent heat is critical in meteorological phenomena.
Latent heat release during condensation influences weather patterns.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 23, 2023

Sensible Heat

Sensible heat changes depend on the substance's specific heat capacity.
Different materials require varying amounts of sensible heat to change temperature.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 23, 2023

Latent Heat

Latent heat is associated with phase transitions like melting or vaporization.
The vaporization of water releases a significant amount of latent heat.
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023

Sensible Heat

Sensible heat can be measured directly with a thermometer.
A thermometer measures the sensible heat of the air.
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023

Latent Heat

It is the heat transfer that occurs without a change in temperature.
During boiling, water absorbs latent heat without increasing in temperature.
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023

Sensible Heat

It is the energy change associated with a temperature difference.
The warmth of a heated metal rod is due to sensible heat.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 23, 2023

FAQs

What is an example of latent heat?

The melting of ice, where heat is absorbed without temperature change, is an example.
Harlon Moss
Jan 02, 2024

What is latent heat?

Latent heat is energy absorbed or released by a substance during a phase change without changing temperature.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Can latent heat change the temperature of a substance?

No, latent heat is absorbed or released without changing the temperature.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Is sensible heat involved in boiling water?

Sensible heat is involved until water reaches boiling point; beyond that, it's latent heat.
Harlon Moss
Jan 02, 2024

Can latent heat be felt?

No, unlike sensible heat, latent heat does not produce a sensation of warmth or cold.
Janet White
Jan 02, 2024

What units are used to measure latent heat?

Latent heat is measured in joules per gram (J/g) or calories per gram.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

What happens to latent heat during condensation?

Latent heat is released during condensation.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 02, 2024

What is sensible heat?

Sensible heat is the heat that causes a temperature change in a substance without a phase change.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 02, 2024

How is sensible heat measured?

Sensible heat is measured by the change in temperature of a substance.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 02, 2024

What is an example of sensible heat?

Heating water in a pot, where the temperature increases, demonstrates sensible heat.
Harlon Moss
Jan 02, 2024

How does specific heat capacity relate to sensible heat?

Specific heat capacity determines how much sensible heat is needed to change a substance's temperature.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 02, 2024

Does the absorption of latent heat cool the surroundings?

Yes, when a substance absorbs latent heat, it often results in cooling of the surroundings.
Janet White
Jan 02, 2024

Do all substances have the same latent heat values?

No, different substances have different latent heat values.
Harlon Moss
Jan 02, 2024

Does latent heat involve phase change?

Yes, latent heat is involved in phase changes like melting, freezing, vaporization, and condensation.
Harlon Moss
Jan 02, 2024

Why is latent heat important in weather?

Latent heat release during water vapor condensation influences cloud formation and weather patterns.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Can latent heat be calculated?

Yes, latent heat can be calculated using the heat of fusion or vaporization values.
Janet White
Jan 02, 2024

How does insulation affect sensible heat?

Insulation reduces the transfer of sensible heat, maintaining a stable temperature.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 02, 2024

Are latent and sensible heat related to thermal energy?

Yes, both are forms of thermal energy transfer, but they occur under different conditions.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Is sensible heat transfer always visible?

Sensible heat transfer may not be visible, but it can be felt as a change in temperature.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

What role does latent heat play in refrigeration?

Latent heat absorption is key to the cooling process in refrigeration systems.
Janet White
Jan 02, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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