• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An experiment to investigate how the resistance between two copper plates immersed in copper sulphate solution varies with the surface area of the plates.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

James Goldsack     10.5          Physics coursework          Bristol Grammar School

An experiment to investigate how the resistance between two copper plates immersed in copper sulphate solution varies with the surface area of the plates.

Introduction

This experiment investigates how the resistance of a copper sulphate solution changes as the surface area of two copper plates (electrodes) immersed in the solution changes. The two plates will be placed in the solution and depth of the solution varied by adding solution. The voltage between the plates will be measured with a voltmeter and the current will be measured with an ammeter. The resistance will then be calculated using Ohm’s law, dividing the voltage by the current. Readings will be taken every 5mm up the copper plates to give a wide range of results.

Prediction

I predict that when the depth of the copper sulphate solution, and hence the surface area of the copper plate immersed in the solution, is doubled, the resistance will halve. This means that the reciprocal of the surface area is directly proportional to the resistance as shown in graph 1. This is because there is double the amount of material for the electrons to move through so more can flow through the solution at one time. This is also the same as Resistance being directly proportional to the reciprocal of the surface area of the copper plates and hence to the volume of liquid between them.

...read more.

Middle

The solutions were from the same batch

The temperature was kept as stable as possible by keeping the beaker out of sunlight so it could not heat up. It would have been better to keep them in a water bath to keep it temperature constant.

Different voltmeters and ammeters give slightly different measurements, so to reduce the chance of an anomalous result the same ones were used for each reading.

The copper plates had to be kept an equal distance apart because any change could affect the resistance. If the plates were too close together, the resistance would be lower and if they were further apart, the resistance would be higher.

The copper sulphate solutions were taken from the same batch each time in the first experiment but in the second experiment, a different batch was used. This could have contained slightly different amounts of certain substances which might affect the resistance.

The same copper plates had to be used because each one has as slightly different surface area so the resistance would again be affected. The same ones were used for each experiment but they changed between experiments. It would have been better if the same ones could have been used and also if the copper sulphate solution was from the same batch for all readings.

...read more.

Conclusion

Also, during electrolysis, material moves from the anode to the cathode so some copper from one of the plates would have been removed, lowering it’s surface area and been deposited on the other, raising its surface area. However, the amount moved in the short amount of time it took to do the experiment would have been negligible.

It would have been better to use a water bath to keep the temperature stable although it did stay constant during the experiment, it could have changed. Also, another improvement would be to get a piece of wood or other material to put between the copper plates to prevent them from moving and to keep them the same distance apart.

If the beaker which the experiment took place in was exactly the same size as the copper plates, it would have prevented extra current to flow between the plates.

If all these changes were implemented, the results would be more reliable as individual results and not just a trend. However, these factors were relatively insignificant in this experiment.

It would be good to take readings for other surface areas, both very small and also very large to see if the trends seen in this range continue and if the results are consistent through different ranges of results.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Electrical & Thermal Physics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Electrical & Thermal Physics essays

  1. Single Phase Transformer (Experiment) Report.

    * Use a core which completely encloses the winding. With the primary wound around one limb and the secondary coil wound on another limb, as its excessive leakage flux would lead to very poor regulation. Looking at the results, I can say that they look realistic, with the efficiency obviously

  2. Investigation on the conductive properties of copper sulphate solution.

    Voltage (V) Current (I) Conductance (G) Conductivity (?) 2.00 0.10 0.050 4.00 0.20 0.050 600 0.30 0.050 8.00 0.40 0.050 10.00 0.50 0.050 12.00 0.60 0.050 14.00 0.70 0.050 16.00 0.80 0.050 18.00 0.90 0.050 20.00 1.00 0.050 22.00 1.10 0.050 24.00 1.20 0.050 1 molar copper sulphate solution at the height of 4cm.

  1. The electrolysis of copper from copper sulphate solution

    Electrodes [Anode (+) and Cathode (-)]. 4. Circuit wire - for connecting up the apparatus to the power supply. 5. Beaker - for holding copper sulphate solution. 6. Copper sulphate solution - for doing the electrolysis experiment. 7. Glass bridge - this is used to rest the electrodes on 8.

  2. Investigating electric potential between two parallel plates and around a charged sphere using a ...

    The flame probe stand was slid against the meter ruler so that its reading indicated the distance of the probe from the centre if the sphere. (15) Readings of the distance of the probe from the centre of the sphere and the potential measured by the probe were taken.

  1. Experiment to investigate how the resistance of a strain gauge attached to a piece ...

    In order to keep the experiment fair, all other factors must be kept constant. Humidity is an important factor that can have an impact on my results, so I shall have to be careful and keep it as constant as possible by not allowing too much water near the apparatus when the experiment is being conducted in the freezer.

  2. physics sensor coursework

    The sensitivity of a sensor is the ratio of change of output to input. As the graph does not show linearity, the sensitivity of the sensor is different at various light intensities. The change in sensitivity is very rapid though.

  1. Find The Internal Resistance Of A Power Supply

    the gradient of the plotted results would all be constant. But as you can see from graph 1 and graph 2 below, the internal resistance of the power supply ranges from 0.35? at minimum voltage setting of 2V to 0.45 ?

  2. To investigate the effects of two different variables on a solar cell output.

    We know that this is the case because when combining the two below formulae, we can see that energy and frequency are related. Wavelength x Frequency= Wave Speed Planck's Constant x frequency= Energy The second formula states that frequency is directly proportional to energy.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work