Difference Between Intensive and Extensive Properties

There are different types of physical properties of matter. They are intensive and extensive properties. These terms were introduced in 1917 by Richard C Tolman. Also, the ratio of two extensive properties is intensive property.

Example: the ratio of mass and volume is equal to density

Mass/Volume = Density

Mass and volume are extensive properties, density is intensive property.

Intensive properties:

The word intensive was derived from “intensivus”. Intensive properties are independent of amount of substance present. Or they are bulk properties. Characteristic doesn’t change. Size of intensive properties does not change. Density, temperature, pressure etc are some of the examples of intensive properties.

Extensive properties:

The word extensive was derived from “extensivus”. Extensive properties are dependent on amount of substance present. They can easily be identified. Size of Extensive properties changes. It can be computed. Volume, size, mass, length, weight are some of the examples of extensive properties.

To make you understand how intensive and extensive properties are different from each other, here are the some of the major differences between intensive and extensive properties:

Difference between Intensive and Extensive properties



Independent property

Dependent property

Size does not change

Size changes

It cannot be computed

It can be computed

Can be easily identified

Cannot be easily identified

Example: melting point, color, ductility, conductivity, pressure, boiling point, luster, freezing point, odor, density etc

Example: length, mass, weight, volume

These were some of the important difference between extensive and intensive properties. To know differences between other topics in chemistry you can register to BYJU’S or download our app for simple and interesting content. India’s largest k-12 learning app with top notch teachers from across the nation with excellent teaching skills. Find notes, question papers for other subjects like Mathematics, Physics, Biology and various competitive exams as well. Enjoy learning with great experience. Learning is no more boring with BYJU’S.

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Practise This Question

Which of the following is diamagnetic?