What are extensive and intensive properties?

Cynthia Navarrete

boiling point*
extensive property*
intensive property*
melting point*
An extensive property is a property that changes when the size of the sample changes. Examples are mass, volume, length, and total charge.

An intensive property doesn't change when you take away some of the sample. Examples are temperature, color, hardness, melting point, boiling point, pressure, molecular weight, and density. Because intensive properties are sometimes characteristic of a particular material, they can be helpful as clues in identifying unknown substances.

Try this quiz on classifying properties to see if you can distinguish intensive and extensive properties.

Author: Fred Senese senese@antoine.frostburg.edu

General Chemistry Online! What are extensive and intensive properties?

Copyright © 1997-2010 by Fred Senese
Comments & questions to fsenese@frostburg.edu
Last Revised 08/17/15.URL: http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/matter/faq/print-extensive-intensive.shtml