Difference Between Extensive and Intensive Properties

Both extensive and intensive properties get used to observing matter. They are also capable of describing the matter as well. Matters have two types of properties, as we know, physical and chemical. The two properties we are discussing are physical properties. Even though they belong to the same type, they share many differences too at the same time.


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Extensive Properties vs Intensive Properties

The difference between extensive and intensive properties is that extensive properties depend on the amount of matter, but intensive properties do not. Also, the size of extensive properties often changes, but the size of intensive properties is fixed and does not change. Extensive properties are not countable, but intensive properties are countable.

Extensive Properties vs Intensive Properties

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Extensive properties can change without altering the chemical bonds of a substance. This is due to it being part of physical properties. These properties change with the amount of matter, and thus it can not help in spotting an unknown substance. These properties can not be subjected to counting.

Being part of physical properties, intensive properties can alter the nature of a substance without causing any difference to the chemical properties of the matter. Also, it does not vary with the changing amount of the substance. And this unchangeability help to recognize any unknown substance.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonExtensive PropertiesIntensive Properties
Dependence on Amount of Matter These properties are dependent on the amount of matter.These properties are not dependent, they are independent of the amount of matter.
SizeThe size of extensive properties is subject to change.The size of intensive properties is not subject to any changes.
CountabilityThese properties are able for calculation.It can not be calculated or computed.
IdentificationIt is not easy to identify extensive properties.It is quite easy to identify intensive properties.
ExampleMass, volume and energy are some of the examples of these properties.Density, boiling point are examples of intensive properties.

What are Extensive Properties?

The physical properties of the matter have two parts, one of them is extensive properties. This property of a matter can be identified based on its dependency on the amount of matter. It means that the number of extensive properties depends and changes with the amount of the matter. Extensive properties that are not computable. But being extensive properties, it is capable of changing its size. That is, it can change the appearance of the matter. However, the identification of extensive properties is not easy at all.

It does not have any direct connection with the chemical properties and bonds of the matter. As a result, extensive properties can change without making any changes in the chemical bonds. These changes happen due to some conditions, and the changes are reversible by adjusting the conditions again. Extensive properties can only change the outer surface or appearance of a substance by altering the particles.

What are Intensive Properties?

The physical properties of the matter have two parts, one of them is extensive properties, and the other is intensive properties. From the two properties, intensive properties can be differentiated from their independence on the amount of matter. In different amounts of matter, the measurement of these properties will remain the same.

This independent nature of the intensive nature can be understood easily with the example of melting or boiling. Regardless of the amount of water, it will boil at 100 degrees Celsius. 1-liter water or 5-liter water, both will boil at that degree.

Also, this not dependency nature can help in identification as its unchanging virtue makes it easy to identify matter. An unknown substance can get identified by its boiling or melting point. Intensive properties rearrange the particles and change the internal nature of the substance. But when the conditions are rearranged again like the former, it comes back to its former self as the changes are reversible.

Main Differences Between Extensive and Intensive Properties

  1. Extensive properties are dependent on the amount of matter, whereas intensive properties are free from this dependence. It does not have any need to depend on the amount of matter.
  2. You can not count or compute the extensive properties. That is not possible but computing the intensive properties is possible.
  3. Extensive properties can change size according to the circumstances, but intensive properties are never subjected to go through any kind of change.
  4. Identifying extensive properties is not easy but intensive properties, on the other hand, are very much easy to identify.
  5. Both extensive and intensive properties are physical properties. The difference lies in the fact that extensive properties depend on the matter amount, but intensive does not have this dependency.
  6. Extensive properties can not help in the recognition of any unknown element, but intensive properties can help to do so.
  7. The amount of extensive property is subjected to face change with the amount of the substance, but intensive properties are fixed and do not change with the quantity of the matter.
  1. http://melting point any many more. References
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13658816.2018.1514120

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