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An investigation in to the uses of Nichrome Wire

Extracts from this document...











Fair Test



Results Table



Results Data Number 1

Results Data number 2




Aim: The aim of this investigation is to find out whether the length of a wire affects resistance.


The purpose of this investigation is to focus on one of the four factors which affect the resistance of a wire; which in this case, ‘the length of a wire, affects the resistance in an electrical circuit’, the conclusive objective will be if the subject is proven in the experiment.

Explaining in brief, I am going to measure the resistance by using a thin, but long piece of Nichrome wire. I will keep increasing the wire length form 10cm to 100cm; this will enable me to come to a conclusion of the key question:

‘How does the length of a wire, affect the resistance in an electrical circuit?


My prediction of this investigation is that resistance is proportional to length. For example the resistance of a wire of 70cm should be higher than a resistance of a wire at 10cm, In fact 7 times more resistant. Resistance will increase with length. Resistance is in fact proportional to length.  

The longer the wire, the higher its resistance, less current flows because the electrons have to get through more atoms in the way.

Increase in wire length = Increase in resistance

‘R µ L’

(Resistance is proportional to Length)

Scientific knowledge states that, ‘increasing the length if a wire, affects the resistance’. This is one of the four factors, which do.

...read more.







  • Set-up the required circuit as shown above.
  • Use a metre ruler, to measure 40cm of wire, and attach ‘crocodile clips’, to the required measurement on the Nichrome wire.
  • Turn on Power supply.
  • Wait one minute to achieve confident readings.
  • Take readings of Ammeter and Voltmeter, and place in a results table.
  • Workout the Resistance. (Resistance (Ω) = Voltage image10.png


  • Turn off Power Supply, and repeat with:

 50cm, 60cm, 70cm, 80cm, 90cm and 100cm.

  • (Repeat Method 1 more time, to ensure the experiment was a fair test and that the results obtained are reliable).

Results Table

Create a results table much like the one below and record the results, into it.

Length of Wire (cms)

Current (Amps)

Voltage (Volts)











Obtaining Evidence


Doing this experiment I had to only take a few safety precautions, to ensure the safety of me and fellow members of my class; whilst the experiment was performed.

  • I made sure that I turned the power supply off each time I was not using the equipment, this will avoid any electrical shocking or burns, if temperature is too high. This also leads to an unfair experiment, because increase in temperature is one of the four criteria’s, which affect resistance.
  • I Kept the Voltage passing at 4V; this is because it will overload the current, causing a precipitant of smoke to come out. This leads to increase in temperature again, meaning an unfair effect on the resistance and invalid results.
  • Gloves were worn when I carried out the experiment. This is vital especially when dismantling the experiment. The Nichrome wire, which may have experienced high temperatures, may still be very hot.
  • Taking Care of what you do is important when carrying out this experiment. It will hinder the risk of accidents within the experiment.
...read more.



Also, my first results do not seem to have any invalid data, due to the steady increase on my graph.



The second results may have invalid data, as it has an unsteady increase, at the points of 20 to 40cms.  

Perhaps I retained odd results by invalid results from the apparatus, i.e. ammeter and voltage. I also, may have recorded the results incorrectly, due to poor measuring on the nichrome wire.

To improve my results, perhaps I should have completed the results at least 3 times, in order to get a broader conclusion of my results. In addition, as a student I only had basic equipment to carry out this experiment; Using advanced equipment, I would be able to calculate results correctly, rather than estimating with dubious equipment.

The data I have provided is sufficient, I believe. This is due to the guidelines I have provided in making sure, you achieve, accurate and valid results. In order to do this experiment correctly, you must do it at least more than one time, with caution on the last attempt.

In addition, my results confirm my prediction correct. My prediction of this investigation was that resistance is proportional to length. For example the resistance of a wire of 70cm should be higher than a resistance of a wire at 10cm, In fact 7 times more resistant. Resistance will increase with length. Resistance is in fact proportional to length. This statistically, meant that the results plotted on a graph; will have a strong positive correlation.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Electricity and Magnetism section.

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