Intrinsic and extrinsic properties

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An intrinsic property is a property of a system or of a material itself or within. It is independent of how much of the material is present and is independent of the form of the material, e.g., one large piece or a collection of small particles. Intrinsic properties are dependent mainly on the chemical composition or structure of the material.[1]

A property that is not essential or inherent is called an extrinsic property. For example, density is a physical intrinsic property of any physical object, whereas weight is an extrinsic property that varies depending on the strength of the gravitational field in which the respective object is placed.

In biology, intrinsic effects originate from inside an organism or cell, such as an autoimmune disease or intrinsic immunity.

See also


  1. Food and Packaging Engineering (IFNHH, Massey University, NZ)