Intensive Property vs. Extensive Property: What's the Difference?

Key Difference

Every matter has specific properties that show its characteristics. These properties are classified as intensive properties and extensive properties. This classification is based on their interaction with the physical and non-physical system. An intensive property is defined as a property that is a system of physical properties that does not depend on the size or amount of the system; it does not vary with the size or amount of the material, example: melting point, boiling point, etc. On the other hand,  the extensive property is defined as a property that totally depends on the size or amount of the material; it varies with the change in size or amount of volume.

Comparison Chart

Intensive Property Extensive Property
Depends Upon An intensive property is a system of properties that does not depend on the amount or size of the material. The extensive property is a system of properties that depends on the amount or size of the material.
Constant Intensive properties remain constant. Extensive properties are not constant.
Varies Intensive properties do not change with the change in amount or size of the material. Extensive properties always change with the change in amount or size of the material.
Result Intensive properties show the same result in different samples test. Extensive properties show the variable result in the different samples test.
Example Intensive properties are, boiling point, color, the state of matter, density, odor, melting point, hardness, malleability. extensive properties include, mass, volume, length, height etc.
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What is Intensive property?

An intensive property is a system of properties that does not depend on the amount or size of the material, these properties remain constant and do not vary with the change in amount or size of the material. Intensive properties are very useful as they help to identify a sample of the whole material because it does not change with amount or size, so they give a total result in small amount test. For example, the melting point of water (ice) is 0-degree celsius; this remains same for water (ice) in all conditions. If we take one litre of frozen water (ice), it will have the same melting point as of two litres or three litres. Similarly, if the amount is reduced to half, still the melting point remains the same. It does not vary with the amount or size of the material. Intensive properties include boiling point, color, the state of matter, density, odor, melting point, hardness, malleability, etc.

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What is Extensive property?

An extensive property is a system of properties that depends on the amount or size of the material, these properties remain non-uniform and vary with the change in amount or size of the material. Extensive properties are very difficult to identify a sample of the material given because it changes with amount or size, so they give variable results in the different amount of samples. For example, the volume of the material is its extensive property; it varies with size and amount. If a material is taken in a small amount or has a small size, it will occupy little volume as well. Similarly, if the amount or size of the material is increased, the volume of the material also increases. It shows that it is dependent on the amount or size of the material. Extensive properties include mass, volume, length, height etc.

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Intensive Property vs. Extensive Property

  • An intensive property is a system of properties that does not depend on the amount or size of the material, whereas the extensive property is a system of properties that depends on the amount or size of the material.
  • Intensive properties remain constant while extensive properties are not constant.
  • Intensive properties do not change with the change in amount or size of the material, whereas extensive properties always change with the change in amount or size of the material.
  • Intensive properties show the same result in different samples test, whereas extensive properties show the variable result in the different samples test.
  • Intensive properties are, boiling point, color, the state of matter, density, odor, melting point, hardness, malleability, whereas extensive properties include, mass, volume, length, height etc.

Explanatory Video

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