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Investigate how the resistance changes when the length changes of a peice of putty

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Rahee Suchak



Conducting Putty


I am investigating “How the resistance changes when the length changes.”  Therefore, my input variable is length.  


The variables I could have chosen between were the length of the putty, the thickness of the putty, heat or the type of wire/material.  I chose to change the length as I felt this would be the easiest and would allow me to get the best results.  In order to make the experiment fair, I have to control the other variables.  

Thickness        I can control the thickness by checking it is the same each time I use a different length.  I think that the thicker the putty is, the lower the resistance will be.  This is because when you make an object thicker it is as though you are putting a single sheet in parallel.  When you put something in parallel it causes the resistance lower.

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I predict that the longer the length, the higher the resistance.  I predict this because if the putty is longer, it means that there would be more collisions and it would cause it to be slower.  This would cause the current to decrease, making the resistance increase.  

The formula I will use to find out the resistance is:



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We will be using a current of 0.42A for the preliminary, as it is not too high and not too low.

We will test 6 different putty lengths, starting at 12cm, being the largest, and shortening the putty 2cm each time, finishing at 2cm.  We will use 12cm as the largest because we can cut the putty a number of times to get good results.  Also, 12cm is not too large and so we can have a reasonable thickness so that we maximize the surface area.  

The thickness we will have the putty is 1.7cm as it is quite high and is smaller than the 2p coin.  

We will have 3 readings for each length so that our results are more accurate and reliable.  We will have 3 readings as we do not have a lot of time and we can get reasonably accurate results with 3 readings.

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