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An extensive property is a property that depends on the amount of a substance that is present in a sample. For example, the mass of a substance changes depending on how much of the substance you are measuring, so it is an extensive property. An intensive property is a property that stays the same regardless of how large your sample is. For example, temperature is an intensive property, because a sample can have a temperature of 15 degrees celcius whether is is 1 gram or 10 grams. Heat capacity is an extensive property because more heat is needed to raise the temperature of a large sample than to raise the temperature of a small sample.
Another example is the difference between specific heat capacity and heat capacity. Specific heat capacity is the heat required to raise the temperature of an object per mole. Since the "per mole" is there, regardless of how many moles are added, the heat required per mole is the same, therefore it is an intensive property. In contrast, heat capacity is the heat required to raise the temperature of an object, which will differ depending on how many moles of reactant there are (aka it will take more heat to heat up a lot of reactant, whereas it will take less heat to heat up only a little reactant), therefore heat capacity is an extensive property.
How relevant is this terminology for the exams in this class? What I mean is, will we have to specifically distinguish between what’s extensive or intensive, or is it just to conceptual understanding? It seems unlikely that an exam midterm would be about whether a property is extensive or intensive, so I want to gage how important it’ll be so I know what to study. Thank you.
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