System and material properties can be classified either as intensive or extensive. This depends on how the property changes. An extensive quantity is a matter that has an additive magnitude for subsystems. An intensive quantity is a matter that comes with a magnitude that does not depend on the system’s size. Examples of extensive properties include entropy, volume, and masses of systems.
When it comes to describing what extensive are, it is important to note that they are physical quantities whose values are almost equal to the system’s size that it describes. Or it is proportional to the amount of matter that is present in the system.
For instance, the mass occupied by a sample is denoted as an extensive quantity. This depends on the quantity of the substance. The corresponding intensive quantity is the density that does not depend on the amount. While the density of water is 1g/mL for both a swimming pool and a water drop, in both cases, you have different masses.
If an extensive property is used to divide another, this usually results in an intensive property. For example, when we divide the mass (extensive property) of an object with its volume (extensive), the result will be density (intensive).
Examples of Extensive Properties
When it comes to extensive properties, there are several examples such as:
The quantity of the substance: This is defined as the number or quantity of indefinite atomic-sized particles that are contained in a sample size of matter divided by a constant (Avogadro constant).
Volume: Volume is an important thermodynamic quantity that is used to describe the thermodynamic state of a system.
Mass: Mass is the amount of matter that a physical body has. This quantity is also used to measure the amount of inertia that the body has, and it is acceleration resistance when there is the application of a net force.
Spring stiffness: Spring stiffness is an important quantity used in measuring the rigidity of springs. By stiffness, we mean the level at which an object can resist deformation as a reaction to a force that has been applied to it.
Internal energy: The internal energy of a thermodynamic substance is the energy that the system contains. This is the energy that is required to prepare or create the system in a particular internal state. It does not consider either the potential or the kinetic energy of the system.
Helmholtz Energy: Helmholtz free energy is an important thermodynamic component. It is defined as the thermodynamic potential that is used to measure the work efficiency that is produced from a closed thermodynamic system with a constant temperature.
Heat capacity: Heat capacity is also known as thermal capacity. This is a physical property that is defined as the total heat capacity that is transferred to an object for there to be a unit temperature change. Heat capacity is usually measured using Joule per Kelvin (J/K). Heat capacity is classified as an extensive property, but specific heat capacity is classified as an intensive property.
Gibbs energy: Gibbs free energy is a very useful quantity used in thermodynamics. This is a thermodynamic potential which is used to estimate the maximum quantity of work that can be done with a thermodynamically closed system usually at a pressure and temperature that is constantly maintained.
Entropy: Entropy is a very popular concept in science. It is also a physical property that can be measured. It is usually used to refer to a state of uncertainty, randomness, or disorder.
Enthalpy: This is an important thermodynamic property. It is the total sum of all the internal energy in a given system and the product of the volume and pressure of the system.