Extensive vs Intensive Properties: Difference and Comparison

Both extensive and intensive properties get used to observe 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.

Key Takeaways

  1. Extensive properties depend on the size or amount of the substance, such as mass and volume. In contrast, Intensive properties don’t depend on the size or amount of the substance, such as temperature and density.
  2. Extensive properties change with the substance, whereas Intensive properties remain constant regardless of the amount.
  3. Extensive properties can be additive, whereas Intensive properties cannot be additive.

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 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

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 helps 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 matter have two parts, one of which 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 on and changes with the amount of 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.

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It does not have any direct connection with the chemical properties and bonds of 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 a substance’s outer surface or appearance by altering the particles.

What are Intensive Properties?

The physical properties of 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. The measurement of these properties will remain the same in different amounts of matter.

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 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 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.
References
  1. http://melting point any many more. References
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13658816.2018.1514120
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Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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8 thoughts on “Extensive vs Intensive Properties: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The nature of extensive and intensive properties is well explained. Extensive properties depend on the amount of matter, while intensive properties are independent of it. This information is essential for understanding the characteristics of matter.

    Reply
  2. The comparison between extensive and intensive properties is insightful. The different properties of matter are very well explained, and the examples make it easier to understand their applications.

    Reply
  3. The distinction between extensive and intensive properties is quite clear. The dependence on amount of matter shown by extensive properties, and the independence of intensive properties are key differences to keep in mind.

    Reply
  4. Extensive and intensive properties are fundamental for understanding matter. Extensive properties change with the substance, and can be additive, while intensive properties remain constant regardless of the amount.

    Reply
  5. The comparison table makes the differences between extensive and intensive properties very clear. Extensive properties are dependent on the amount of matter and are not countable, while intensive properties remain constant regardless of the amount and are easily identifiable.

    Reply
  6. The difference between extensive and intensive properties is striking. While extensive properties change with the substance, intensive properties remain constant regardless of the amount. Furthermore, extensive properties can be additive, while intensive properties cannot.

    Reply
  7. Extensive properties change with the substance, while intensive properties remain constant regardless of the amount. The examples provided give a clear understanding of their differences and applications.

    Reply
  8. Extensive and intensive properties are used to observe matter. Extensive properties depend on size or amount of the substance, while intensive properties don’t. Both play an essential role in understanding the characteristics of matter.

    Reply

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