Intensive vs Extensive Properties

Intensive and extensive properties are the two types of physical properties. The properties which can be observed and measured easily are called physical properties. For example color, melting point, boiling point, temperature, and odor, etc.

Intensive properties are the properties independent of the amount or quantity of a substance like color, temperature, and pressure, etc. Extensive properties are dependent on the amount or quantity of substance like mass, energy, and volume, etc.

The term intensive and extensive quantities were introduced into physics by German writer Georg Helm in 1898 and by American physicist and chemist Richard C. Tolman in 1917.

Prerequisites
Path and state functions of a system

Intensive vs Extensive properties

Intensive properties Extensive properties
These properties are amount independent These properties are amount dependent
Intensive properties involve physical changes that can easily be observed Extensive properties involve physical changes that can not easily be observed
They can be identified They cannot be identified
They are helpful for the identification of samples They are helpful for the description of samples
They change physical behavior of substances They change nature of substances
Examples Color, temperature, density, pressure, melting and boiling point, density, etc Examples Mass, volume, energy, enthalpy, entropy, length, etc

Intensive properties

The properties which do not depend on the mass or amount of substance present in the sample are called intensive properties. These properties are used for the identification of samples because they involve the physical change that can be observed easily.

Temperature is an intensive property because the temperature of one drop of water is the same as the temperature of one glass of water meaning it is independent of amount.

Examples of intensive properties are

  1. Colour
  2. Temperature
  3. Solubility
  4. Refractive index
  5. Luster
  6. Melting point
  7. Boiling point
  8. Odor
  9. Pressure
  10. Density
  11. Malleability
  12. Ductility
  13. Taste
  14. Surface tension
  15. Viscosity

Examples of some intensive properties

Extensive properties

The properties which depend on mass or amount of substance present in the sample are called extensive properties. These properties are used for describing a sample because they change the internal structures.

These properties tell us about the quantity of any substance present in the sample.

Examples of extensive properties are

  1. Mass
  2. Volume
  3. Energy
  4. Enthalpy
  5. Entropy
  6. Length
  7. Gibbs free energy
  8. Helmholtz free energy
  9. Heat capacity

Heat capacity is an extensive property because 100 g of water, for instance, has 100 times the heat capacity of 1 g of water and therefore requires 100 times the energy as heat to bring about the same rise in temperature.

Examples of some extensive properties

Specific properties

The ratio of two extensive properties is an intensive property and these are called specific properties. When we divide any quantity by its mass we get the property called specific property.

For example

Density = mass / volume

ρ = m / V

As the mass and volume, both are extensive properties, their ratio is equal to density, an intensive property.

Similarly heat capacity is an extensive property. When it is divided by mass the term is called specific heat capacity which is an intensive property.

Examples of specific properties are

  • Specific volume
  • Specific energy
  • Specific heat capacity
  • Specific entropy
  • Molar enthalpy, etc.

Key takeaway(s)

Intensive vs Extensive properties

Concepts Berg

What is the difference between an intensive and extensive property?

The property that does not depend on the amount of matter present in the sample is called intensive property. For example temperature, pressure, melting point and boiling point, etc.

The property that depends on the quantity of matter present in the sample is called an extensive property, for example, mass, volume, and energy, etc.

What are 5 examples of extensive properties?

Examples of extensive property are

  • Mass
  • Volume
  • Energy
  • Enthalpy
  • Entropy, etc.

What are the 3 differences between extensive and intensive properties?

  1. Extensive property depends on the amount where the intensive property does not.
  2. An intensive property is used for the identification of samples whereas extensive properties are used for describing the samples.
  3. Mass and volume are extensive properties while density and temperature are intensive properties.

Is size intensive or extensive?

Intensive properties are independent of amount or size whereas extensive properties are size-dependent. So the size is extensive.

Is mass extensive or intensive?

Mass is an example of extensive property because extensive properties are amount or mass dependent.

Which is an intensive property?

The property which does not depend on the amount or size of the sample is called an intensive property. For example temperature, pressure, color, melting and boiling points and refractive index, etc.

Is temperature intensive or extensive?

Temperature being amount independent is an example of intensive properties.

Is volume intensive or extensive?

Volume being amount dependent is an example of extensive properties.

Is hardness intensive or extensive?

Hardness is an example of an intensive property because intensive properties do not change if the amount of sample changes.

Is color intensive or extensive?

Color being amount independent is an example of an intensive property.

Is length intensive or extensive?

Length is an example of an extensive property because the amount matters for length.

Is density intensive or extensive property?

Density is the ratio of mass and volume. Both these quantities are extensive properties but as the ratio of two extensive properties is an intensive property, the density is an intensive property.

What is meant by intrinsic and extrinsic properties? Is it the same as intensive and extensive properties?

Intrinsic properties

The properties which are inherent to the sample or being owned by samples are called intrinsic.

Extrinsic properties

The properties that are not inherent to the sample but depend on external factors are called extrinsic.

Intensive properties

The properties which are independent of mass are called intensive properties.

Extensive properties

The properties which are dependent on mass are called extensive properties.

So they are not the same.

Why is the ratio of two extensive properties an intensive property?

The ratio of two extensive properties is an extensive property. This is because both these properties cancel each other’s amount dependency and we get an intensive property.

For example, density is the ratio of mass and volume. Both these quantities are extensive properties but density is an intensive property because the ratio of two extensive properties is an intensive property.

Is pressure intensive or extensive?

Pressure is an example of intensive properties because it doesn’t change with amount or numbers.

Is specific volume intensive or extensive?

When volume is divided by the mass, we get a specific volume. It is the reciprocal of density so it is an intensive property. Moreover, volume and mass both being extensive quantities make an intensive property by their ratio.

Is molarity intensive or extensive?

Molarity is the ratio of number of moles and volume. These both are extensive properties. The ratio of two extensive properties is an intensive one so, the molarity is an intensive property.

Is Gibbs free energy intensive or extensive?

Gibbs’s free energy is an extensive property because it changes with a change in the amount of sample.

Is time an intensive property?

Time is always an intensive property because it never depends on mass or amount.

Is heat intensive or extensive?

Heat is an example of an extensive property being quantity dependent.

How is pressure an intensive property?

Pressure is the force per unit area. Force and area are extensive properties so the pressure, their ratio product is an intensive property.

P = F /A

Why are the extensive properties additive?

Extensive properties are additive because if two different systems are combined, their total magnitude will equal the sum of their individual magnitudes.

For example, when two liquids are mixed, their total volume becomes equal to the sum of their individual volumes. This is not although necessarily happening. It is possible in isolated systems.

Are molarity and molality intensive properties? If so, why?

Both molarity and molality are intensive properties.

  • Molarity is the ratio of number of moles and volume. They both are extensive properties. The ratio of two extensive properties is intensive so molarity is an intensive property.
  • Molality is the ratio of number of moles and mass of solvent. Both of these quantities are extensive properties. The ratio of two extensive properties is an intensive property so, molality is also an intensive property.

Why is molar volume an intensive property?

Molar volume is the ratio of volume and mass. As both are extensive properties and the ratio of two extensive properties is an intensive property. Molar mass is an intensive property.

Why is internal energy considered to be an extensive property?

Internal energy is the sum of kinetic and potential energies. Both these energies are mass-dependent meaning that internal energy is also a mass-dependent quantity. Thus, the internal energy is an extensive property.

Can colligative properties be considered extensive properties?

Colligative properties are the properties of a solution. It is the ratio of the number of solute particles to the number of solvent particles. They are intensive properties.

Is heat capacity intensive or extensive?

Heat capacity is an extensive property because it is mass dependent. For example, the heat capacity of 1000 g of water is very different from the heat capacity of 1 g of water.

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