The purpose of this experiment was to identify whether density is an extensive or intensive physical property. By using water displacement, the volumes of the paper clip samples were measured and the masses were obtained by using an electronic balance. Each mass and volume was unique to their sample so by using their values, density was used to identify substances in the lab. After conducting the experiment, the results showed that there was a positive slope between the different paper clip samples’ masses and their volumes. It was concluded from this pattern that density is an extensive property.
In science, there are two physical properties that are used to classify certain substances; extensive and intensive. Extensive physical properties are properties whose values vary directly with mass. (“Thermodynamic Properties” 2012) Therefore, they rely on the sample’s mass. Intensive physical properties are properties that are independent of the amount of mass. (“Thermodynamic Properties” 2012) Therefore, they do not depend on the sample’s mass. One physical property that was investigated during an experiment was density. Density is a physical property of matter that can be measured by dividing the matter’s mass by its volume. The purpose of the experiment was to answer the following question: Is density an extensive or intensive physical property? To answer this question, the densities of paper clip samples were calculated using their masses and measured volumes obtained from a water displacement technique. If the experiment showed that the sizes of the samples affected the calculated densities, then density would be an extensive property since it would be relying on the samples’ masses.
If density is an extensive property, then the masses of the different number of paper clips will affect the calculated densities because density depends on the mass of the paper clip samples.
Materials and Methods