• 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...


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

    To reduce the voltage regulation value the following can be done: - * Wind primary and secondary over each other - interleaving the layers helps further. * Sandwich the coils. * Make the coils longer and thinner by making the limbs longer and the yoke shorter.

  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. Investigating how temperature affects the resistance in a wire

    Because there was only one anomalous result in the second investigation, and it barely could be called an anomalous result because it does not deviate from the trend line by very much at all. This one anomalous result could have been due to the temperature of the water bath being slightly above or below 60?C when I took the measurement.

  2. 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.

  1. physics sensor coursework

    �100 Error min = 4.12% At 900 lux: Max value = Max V/ Min I Max value = (4.16 + 0.005)/ [(18.73 - 0.005) �10^-3] Max value = 222.43 ? Min value = Min V/ Max I Min value = (3.89 - 0.005)/ [(18.78 + 0.005)

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

    Variable 2: Distance Distance Another variable that could be investigated with a solar cell is the distance between the solar cell and the light source, and the effect upon the energy transferred to the solar cell when varying distances between the solar cell and light source.

  1. How does the mass of copper plated in the electrolysis of copper sulphate solution ...

    So now I am going to predict the results that I should be getting. This is the calculation I am going to use: Charge (coulombs) =time (sec) x current (amps) = 600 x 0.25 = 150 coulombs 95000 coulombs = 1/96500 moles of electrons 150 coulombs = 1/96500 x 150

  2. To find which of the circuits, shown below, are most suitable to measure a ...

    and after this, Circuit Two would be more accurate. Then percentage change for both circuits would be the same at this point, but at values after this the percentage change for resistances in Circuit One, would increase, while for Circuit Two the percentage change would decrease. Apparatus: I will need the following for my practical experiment: * A Voltmeter

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