Intensive Properties vs Extensive Properties
Almost everything around us can be taken as a matter. We can define matter as things, which consist of atoms and molecules, and have a mass and a volume. Mainly, we divide them into four classes as solid, liquid, gas and plasma. Solids have a definite shape and a volume (has an order of arrangement). The atoms or molecules of a solid are tightly bound, and there is very less space between them compared to other matter. Gas occupies the given space and acquires its volume. The bonds between the atoms or molecules in a gas are very weak. Gases are easily compressible and expandable. Liquids have in between properties of a solid and a gas. Plasma is made of ionized matter. Matter exhibits various quantitative and qualitative properties. Mass, volume, density, weight can be taken as qualitative properties; taste and smell can be taken as quantitative properties of a matter. Physical properties of matter can be divided into two as intensive and extensive properties, and they are state functions.
Intensive properties are properties that do not depend on the amount of matter. Therefore, when some amount of the sample is removed the value doesn’t change. Further, these properties have different values from a point to point. Temperature, boiling point, melting point, pressure, density, heat capacity, electrical conductivity, and viscosity are some of the examples for intensive properties. Usually, these properties are characteristic of a given substance; therefore, these can be used to identify different substances. The boiling point of water is 100 oC, and the boiling point of ethanol is 78 oC. These values are characteristic to them. Further, no matter how much volume of water or ethanol is taken, the melting point is the same. Temperature of a building may change from one place to another. The density of the atmosphere is also changing from one point to another. Therefore, intensive properties can also be defined as any property that can exist at a point in space. Specific property is a special type of intrinsic properties. And this is always given in a unit mass basis. For example, specific volume is the volume of a 1g of substance. So, its units are cubic millimeters per gram. Likewise, there can be other specific properties for a matter, which are also intensive properties.
Extensive properties are properties that depend on the size or the amount of matter. Mass, volume, and length are some of the examples for extensive properties. For instance, if all the lengths of a cube are increased, its volume will increase. Further, the amount of matter increases inside the cube; therefore, its mass will also increase.
What is the difference between Intensive Properties and Extensive Properties?
• Intensive properties do not depend on the amount of matter, but the extensive properties depend on the amount of matter present.
• Temperature, boiling point, melting point, pressure, density, heat capacity, electrical conductivity, and viscosity are some of the examples for intensive properties. Mass, volume, and length are examples for extensive properties.