Difference Between Intensive and Extensive Properties

Definitions

Those properties of matter that depend on the amount of the substance present are called extensive properties. Example- mass and volume. Those properties which do not depend on the amount of the substance are called intensive properties. Example- colour and density. 

The two terms, intensive and extensive properties of matter were introduced by Richard C. Tolman in the year 1917. The ratio of two extensive properties is an intensive property. For instance, the ratio of the mass and the volume is equal to density. In order to find density, it is important to divide mass by volume. Density is the intensive property while mass and volume are the extensive properties. Here, we will learn more about the intensive and extensive property and also about the ways in which these two properties differ from each other.


What is An Intensive Property of Matter?

The intensive property of matter is dependent upon the amount of substance. The word intensive is derived from the word "intensivus". The characteristic of substance with intensive property does not change. Moreover, the size of the intensive properties also does not go through any form of change. Some of the common examples of intensive property are density, pressure, temperature, the hardness of an object and also refractive index. IUPAC defines intensive property as the one whose magnitude is independent in the size of the system. It is the bulk property which means it is a local physical property of a system. This does not depend on the amount of material in the system or the size of the system. 

Another example of understanding intensive property is the temperature of a system in thermal equilibrium. It means that the temperature of the system in the thermal equilibrium is the same as the temperature in its other parts. Now, if the system is divided, then the temperature in each subsystem will be identical. Similarly, the density of a homogenous system if divided in half, the mass and the volume gets divided in half. However, the density remains unchanged. The boiling point of any substance can be regarded as the intensive property of the substance. For example, the 100-degree centigrade boiling point of water will be unchanged regardless of the quantity. 


What is An Extensive Property of Matter?

The extensive property of matter can be determined as the property of the matter that is also dependent upon the amount of substance present. The word extensive was derived from the word extensivus. The matter with extensive property can easily be identified. Also, the size of the extensive property varies and it can also be computed. Some of the common examples of the extensive property of matter are mass, size, volume, weight and length. IUPAC defines extensive property as the one whose magnitude is additive for subsystems. This also states mathematical ideas like mean and measure. 

By the term additive of the subsystems, it refers to the extensive properties like mass, volume and entropy of the systems. It is because they increase and decrease while they grow large and small respectively. Therefore, it can be said that extensive property is the physical property where the value is proportional to the size of the system. The mass of a substance is an extensive property. As stated earlier, the extensive property will vary from substance to substance due to differentiation in the mass, size, volume, weight and length. Another important thing to remember regarding the extensive property of a substance is that if one extensive property is divided by another extensive property then it gives an intensive value. For instance, if mass and volume are both extensive. Now if these two are divided by each other then it will give us the density of the substance which is an intensive property.


Definition of Properties of Matter

All properties of matter can be defined as the chemical and physical properties of matter. The physical properties of matter can be further divided into two properties, intensive and extensive properties of matter. The extensive properties of matter are volume and mass. However, that depends on the amount of mass that is being measured. On the other hand, intensive properties of matter are density and colour and they do not depend on the amount of substance present. 

But when it comes to physical properties of matter it can be measured without altering the chemical identity of the substance. Now, to understand the measurement of the chemical properties it is essential to change the chemical identity of the substance. It is important to understand that not all physical properties of a substance are exclusively intensive or extensive for that matter. For instance, the electrical impedance of two subsystems can be regarded as additive. However, they should be combined in a series but if they are combined in a parallel manner then the resulting impedance will be less than that of either subsystem. 


How to Measure The Physical Properties of A Matter? 

Physical properties of a substance can be referred to as the properties that if observed or measured without altering the chemical nature of a particular substance. Some of the examples of physical properties which involve both intensive and extensive property are like colour and density. Colour and density are intensive property of the substance whereas volume and mass of the same substance can be referred to as the extensive property of the substance. Similarly, the boiling and the melting point of a substance is an intensive property. 


What is The Chemical Property Of A Substance?

The chemical property of a substance can be referred to as the measurement of the substance after alteration in the chemical structure of the substance. Some of the examples of the chemical property of a substance are as follows:

  • Chemical stability of any substance can be understood by identifying whether a compound will react with water or air. Having said that, it is important to know, the substances that have chemical stability will not react like hydrolysis and oxidation. 

  • The most preferred oxidation state of a substance is the lowest energy oxidation state which is the common and preferred method for metal to undergo reactions. 


What is The Heat of Combustion?

When a compound undergoes complete combustion or to say burning with oxygen, the energy that is released is referred to as the heat of combustion. The symbol for the heat of combustion is ΔHc.


What is Flammability?

Flammability is referred to as the state when anything is easily ignited and is capable of burning rapidly. Therefore, to understand the flammability of a compound, it is important to understand that whether a compound will burn or not when exposed to flame. Burning is a high-temperature reaction in the presence of oxygen which is a chemical reaction.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Give Examples of Intensive Properties and Extensive Property.

Examples of intensive properties are as follows:

  • melting point

  • colour

  • density

  • state of matter

  • odour

  • temperature

  • lustre

  • hardness

  • ductility 

  • malleability

Examples of extensive properties are as follows:

  • Volume

  • Mass

  • Size

  • Weight

  • Length

2. How to Differentiate Between Intensive and Extensive Properties?

In order to determine the intensive and extensive properties of a substance conduct the following experiment. Take two identical samples of a substance and then put them together. Observe the change in the substance carefully. If the property of the substance is doubled, for instance, if it gets increased by mass or by length, then it can be referred to as the extensive property of the substance. Similarly to understand the intensive property we again need to carefully observe the substance. If, now the property remains unchanged through alteration of the size of the sample then it can be determined as the intensive property of the particular substance.

3. What is The Importance of Extensive Property and Intensive Property?

To describe any sample it is essential to know the extensive and intensive property of the substance. It gives in-depth information about the substance which would not have been possible without the determination of either of the property. For instance, we know that mass, weight and length are the extensive property but their ratio gives the density of the substance which is an intensive property. Extensive property of a substance is thus important for describing the substance and intensive property is helpful in the classification of the substance that whether or not they would change depending upon the size of the sample and also its conditions.

4. Discuss Briefly The Extensive and Intensive Properties In Regards to Thermodynamics?

In thermodynamics, properties can be divided into two different classes which are intensive and extensive properties. The concentrated property is identified as independent of the mass amount. Further, the value of the large property changes with the volume of the substance directly. The intensive property is independent of the amount of mass while the extensive property is dependent on the size, mass, volume of the substance. Intensive properties of a substance are like density and colour which does not depend on the matter.