heat: Heat of Fusion

Heat of Fusion

When a solid reaches a certain temperature, it changes to a liquid. This temperature is a particular property of the substance and is called its melting point. While the solid-liquid transition is taking place, there is no change in temperature. All of the heat being added is being converted to the internal potential energy associated with the liquid state. The amount of heat needed to convert one unit of mass of a substance from a solid to liquid is called the heat of fusion, or latent heat of fusion, of the substance. Like specific heat, latent heat is also a property of the particular substance. The latent heat of fusion for the ice-to-water transition is 80 calories per gram.

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