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Investigating how resistance depends on shape

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Emma Loyd 11KM

Investigating how resistance depends on shape

There are many factors involved in this experiment, which include the following:

The length of resistance putty

The width of resistance putty

The voltage running through the putty

The position of the variable resistor

The shape of the putty

The factors, which I am going to investigate, are:

The resistance of the putty, when at different lengths

I predict that the shorter I cut the putty, the lower the resistance will be. The longer the length of putty, the higher the resistance will be. I think that this is because there are more atoms in a larger cylinder of putty than there are in a smaller piece of putty, this therefore means that in the larger cylinder of putty there is more chance that the electrons will collide with one of the atoms, therefore there is more resistance.

Scientifically explained:

Conductors have lower resistance when they are shorter because the electrons have a shorter distance to travel so more energy is conserved since there are fewer collisions, and the current is higher.

Middle

Once the equipment is set up correctly, make a record of a reading of the resistance, and then repeat this reading twice, this is to make sure that none of your readings have been taken incorrectly, and that it is the correct sized cylinder, you could also measure the weight of the putty.

Cut the putty to a length of 27cm and re-measure the diameter to make sure that it is the same diameter as used for the last reading

Repeat the last bullet point for the other five different lengths (25cm, 20cm, 15cm, 10cm, 5cm)

The safety procedures to be considered during this experiment are:

Don’t touch the circuit with wet hands

Make sure that there aren’t any gaps in the insulating plastic, before connecting to a power supply.

Don’t run a too high voltage through the circuit, until you are sure that it is safe to do so.

Do not override the power supply.

Conclusion

I think that my results have given me enough evidence to show that my prediction is correct. My results are very good and have no mistakes within them.

I think that this was a suitable procedure to use to investigate resistance, as it showed what I needed to know very clearly, but if I could re-do this experiment another time, I would take more sets of results, in order to be more accurate with my results. I think that therefore, I can rely on my results answer my earlier question of ‘how does resistance depend on shape’ thoroughly and correctly.

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

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