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Thermodynamics: Properties of a System

Properties of a System

There are many different properties that can define a system. For example there's pressure, temperature, volume, and mass to name a few of the common properties. However, you need to be able to define if those properties are intensive or extensive properties.

For a property to be an intensive property, the property needs to be independent of the system's mass. Temperature, pressure, and density are examples of properties that are intensive properties. Extensive properties on the other hand are properties that depend on the size or extent of the system. Total mass and volume are examples of extensive properties. In addition, extensive properties can be broken into a subcategory called specific properties. Specific properties are extensive properties per unit mass such as specific energy (equation 1) and specific volume (equation 2).

specific energy equation (1)

specific volume equation (2)

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