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An Investigation in to the Factors Affecting the Resistance of a Piece of Resistance Wire

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Introduction

Matt Harris        10Q1        Mr Adams

An Investigation in to the Factors Affecting the Resistance of a Piece of Resistance Wire

Introduction

Anything that conducts electricity will offer a certain amount of resistance.  The de-localised electrons colliding with the ions in the material cause resistance.  The amount of resistance in an electric circuit determines the amount of current flowing in the circuit for any given voltage applied to the circuit, according to Ohm's law.  The unit of resistance is the ohm.

These variables that may effect my results

Length-will affect the resistance of the wire because the longer the piece of wire the more energy the de-localised electrons will have to use to get through it.  Its like having to run 100m or 800m at the same pace

Cross-section area- The thicker the piece of wire the more electrons can pass through it at one time. Also there are more “spaces” for them to move into.

Material-Different materials offer different amounts of resistance. This is because some will have more de-localised electrons than others, also the molecules in metals differ in their distance from each other – making it easier or harder for the electrons to pass by.

Voltage- The voltage will not affect the resistance in a piece of wire.

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Middle

Results for cross-section area experiment

First test

No. of Wires

Current (amps)

Voltage (V)

Resistance

(Ω)

1

0.51

0.46

0.90

2

0.76

0.39

0.51

3

1

0.31

0.31

4

1.11

0.26

0.23

5

1.16

0.24

0.21

6

1.24

0.22

0.18

7

1.35

0.19

0.14

8

1.3

0.22

0.17

9

1.35

0.20

0.15

10

1.41

0.17

0.12

Second Test

No. of Wires

Current (amps)

Voltage (V)

Resistance

(Ω)

1

0.52

0.51

0.98

2

0.81

0.41

0.51

3

0.97

0.33

0.34

4

1.11

0.28

0.25

5

1.15

0.27

0.23

6

1.25

0.25

0.20

7

1.31

0.21

0.16

8

1.31

0.21

0.16

9

1.41

0.18

0.13

10

1.39

0.18

0.13

Third test

No. of Wires

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Conclusion

Evaluation

All of my graphs look reliable.  I have plotted enough points close enough to the line to be confident that my conclusions are correct.  There was a bit of spread in my results, but not enough to cast any doubt on my conclusions.

we took quite a long time to set the equipment up for our practical work, but once we had a circuit that worked, it was relatively quick and easy to gather our results.

The biggest source of error in both experiments would probably be human error in measuring the wire.  The degree of accuracy seemed to increase with the more or longer wire we used.  I did not find any anomalous results.

I might have been able to obtain more accurate results by using an ammeter and a voltmeter that had more decimal places on the display

On the whole I think this has been a successfully experiment.  If I had more time I would have taken more repeats for the length experiment.  If I wanted to take these experiments further, I could do an experiment to see if the same rules apply to wires made of different materials such as nickel, copper, manganese etc.

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