The term thermal capacity appears to suggest a storable thermal quantity. However, this claim is not redeemed when thermal capacity is projected onto “heat”, which, like all energy forms, exits only in transit and is not a part of internal energy. The storable thermal quantity is entropy, and entropy capacity is a well-defined physical coefficient which has the advantage of being a susceptibility. The inverse of the entropy capacity relates the response of the system (change of temperature) to a stimulus (change of entropy) such as the fluid level responses to a change in amount of fluid contained in a vessel. Frequently, entropy capacity has been used implicitly, which is clarified in examples of the low-temperature analysis of phononic and electronic contributions to the thermal capacity of solids. Generally, entropy capacity is used in the estimation of the entropy of a solid. Implicitly, the thermoelectric figure of merit refers to entropy capacity. The advantage of the explicit use of entropy capacity comes with a descriptive fundamental understanding of the thermal behaviour of solids, which is made clear by the examples of the Debye model of phonons in solids, the latest thermochemical modelling of carbon allotropes (diamond and graphite) and not least caloric materials. An electrocaloric cycle of barium titanate close to its paraelectric–ferroelectric phase transition is analysed by means of entropy capacity. Entropy capacity is a key to intuitively understanding thermal processes.
This video is adapted from 10.3390/e24040479