Difference Between Intensive and Extensive Properties

In this article we will learn about difference between intensive and extensive properties. Any
property may be either intensive or extensive. Before discussing these properties let’s come to know about what is property. Any characteristic of a
system is called property. For example: pressure, temperature, volume and mass
are some familiar properties of a system. Viscosity, thermal conductivity,
modulus of elasticity thermal expansion coefficient, electrical resistivity etc
are less familiar properties.
Difference Between Intensive and Extensive Properties


Properties are considered to be either intensive or extensive. Let’s discuss
about intensive and extensive properties one by one

Intensive properties: The properties which are independent of the mass of the
system. Temperature, pressure and density are the intensive properties.
Extensive properties: The properties which depend on the size or extent of the
system are called extensive properties. For example: total mass, total volume
and total momentum.
For better explanation of the intensive and extensive properties considered a
system in which the properties like mass, volume temperature, pressure and
density are denoted by ‘m’, ‘V’, ‘T’, ‘P’, ‘ρ’.If the system is divided into
two parts then what changes takes place is shown in the diagram below.

Difference Between Intensive and Extensive Properties

Here the mass and volume becomes half but the pressure temperature and density
remains unchanged as the system is divided into two halves. This indicates that
mass and volume depends upon the size or extent of the system and hence they
are extensive properties. And the pressure, temperature and density remains
unchanged that is they are independent of the mass and that’s why are called
intensive property.

Difference between intensive and extensive properties

S.no
Intensive property
Extensive property
1.
They are
independent of the quantity of the system.
They depend upon
the quantity of the system
2.
They are
independent of the size or extent of the system.
They depend upon
the size and extent of the system.
3.
Pressure,
temperature and density are intensive properties etc
Total Mass, total
volume, total momentum etc.

How to Identify
Whether a Property is Intensive or Extensive

Considered a system
and measure some of its properties like mass, volume, temperature density etc.
Note down the value of each property on a paper. Now make the quantity of the
system double. Now again measure all the properties of the system that we have measured
earlier. And compare the values
  • If the value any property exchanges than it is an extensive
    property
  • And if it remains unchanged than it is an intensive property.
This is all about the difference between intensive and extensive properties. If you find anything missing or incorrect than feel free to comment. If you find it informative than share and like us on Facebook.

Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra is a blogger by passion and Mechanical Engineer by profession. He has completed his B.Tech degree in mechanical engineering in the year 2015. He loves to share his knowledge and help others.

One thought on “Difference Between Intensive and Extensive Properties

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *