• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10

An Investigation into How well Wires Conduct Electricity

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

An Investigation into How well Wires Conduct Electricity Scientific Background Electricity is a form of energy; it is also very easy to use because it can flow along wires to wherever it is needed. It is a flow of negative electrons. We call this flow an electric current. The flow is measured in units called amperes or amps. 1 ampere is a flow of about six million, million, million electrons per second past each point. Voltmeters are used to measure the potential difference or "voltage" this is an electrical energy difference. Electricity can flow through a metal, such as copper, because the metal contains electrons that are free to move from one atom to another. We will be able to measure how well a wire conducts electricity by measuring the resistance. Resistance is a measure of the opposition of a component to the flow of current through it i.e. how hard it is for current to flow. The current, however, tells you what is flowing when there is a given voltage, which is why it is better to use resistance. Also if the current flowing through the wire was constantly changing then it would be impossible to get an accurate idea on what the resistance was as there would be different amounts of electrons flowing through the wire and so resistance would change because there would be different numbers of electrons trying to get through the atoms and the true resistance could never be calculated. The thin wire in a lamp tends to resist the movement of electrons in it. We say that the wire has a certain resistance to the current. The greater the resistance, the more voltage is needed to push a current through the wire. ...read more.

Middle

The more difficult it is for the electrons to move the higher the resistance. Therefore the longer the wire is, the more atoms there will be to collide with so the electrons will be slowed down more, meaning that it is harder for the current to flow (i.e. the resistance is higher). Method: 1. Set up the apparatus as show in the diagram above. Make sure that when the wire is in the circuit it does not coil round and cross over itself as this could decrease the length of wire that the current has to flow through and in doing so will make the results inaccurate. 2. Using your first selected length of wire (in this case 25cm), set the voltage to 0.5V (or as close as possible) then record the reading shown on the ammeter (this is the current) you then use the formula (resistance = potential difference � current) to fill in the resistance column. It is important to record all the readings you take. 3. To enable you to repeat the experiment so you can get a sensible average, you should set the voltage to 1.0V (or as close as possible) and record the new reading on the ammeter and again work out the resistance. These two results for resistance should be about the same. However even if this is the case it is always best to get at least three results for each length so you can be sure that you are getting sensible readings. 4. After you have collected a minimum of three results for the first length of wire, move the crocodile clips along so that the length of the wire is now 35cm. ...read more.

Conclusion

I would do this by monitoring all the factors much more closely. I would use instruments/equipment that would allow me to make sure that every other factor did stay absolutely constant, such as a temperature sensor to record even the slightest change in the wire temperature and small measuring device to make sure that the wire is the same thickness all the way through, so as not to make the test unfair by having the wire different thickness, which could make it easier for the electrons to pass through if it was thicker and so not give an accurate resistance result. I think that even though we didn't have any equipment to notice slight changes in wire temperature, thickness, etc. I think that overall our experiments were accurate enough to make an certain conclusion, as all our experiments gave very similar results as you can see in the results table and there weren't any glaringly obvious errors or differences between them. I think that with the equipment we had we managed to carry out a very accurate experiment and produce an accurate conclusion and evaluation. We could do more work to take the investigation further, such as increasing the length of wire we use or shortening the intervals between recording, such as taking results every 5cms instead of every 10cms. We could also use several ammeters to see if any of the current is lost as it passes through the wire or several voltmeters to see if the potential difference changes at different points on the wire. This, as well as adding "extra-sensitive equipment" would all add to making the results more accurate and we would be able to give a definite, firm conclusion due to the sheer volume of results we would have and how accurate all these would be. Page 1 of 10 Lucy Blackbourn ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

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

  1. Peer reviewed

    Investigation in resistance in wires

    5 star(s)

    1.14 10 8 1.22 8 0 0.00 8 1 0.51 8 2 0.66 8 3 0.77 8 4 0.91 8 5 0.99 8 6 1.09 8 7 1.19 8 8 1.24 Graph Interpretation By looking at the graph you can see that Voltage and Current are proportional.

  2. Investigate the resistance of different wires and how at different lengths the voltage increases ...

    Thinner wires have more resistance than thick wires because in thicker wires there is more space for the current to pass through. If the wire is hotter, the metal ions will vibrate more and there will be more collisions between the metal ions and electrons, so there will be more resistance.

  1. Resistance of a Wire Investigation

    I did some research and in a book called 'Ordinary Level Physics' By A. F. Abbott, it says 'that doubling the area will therefore halve the resistance'- in other words the resistance of a wire is inversely proportional to its area, or R ?

  2. An in Investigation into the Resistance of a Wire.

    If the resistivity of a material is known, the resistance of a given length of material is known area of cross-section can be calculated. Ohms law actually states that if the cross-sectional of the wire is uniform then the resistance is proportional to the length (if you double one, you double the other)

  1. Investigate one or more factors affecting the resistance of metal wires

    Metals behave as conductors due to their structure. In a metal atom, the electron is relatively weakly attached to the atom and so can easily separate from the parent atom. This means that the atoms in a metal exist as ions surrounded by an electron cloud. When a potential difference is applied to the metal, the electrons in

  2. Discover the factors affecting resistance in a conductor.

    to a strong conclusion and supports my original prediction Therefore as the length of the carbon putty paper increases, the resistance increases, and this increases is directly proportional as no other factors affect these results. Also, one graph shoed that resistance was inversely proportional to area(diameter), as shown in a curve.

  1. Resistance and Wires

    They are of reasonable complexity, with many variations to the experiment. The data once analyzed reveals many patterns and the equipment needed for this test was reasonably easy to get. Experiment 1 The purpose of experiment 1 was to examine how resistance is affected by a change in length of wire.

  2. Resistance of wires

    Copper comes second to the word's best electricity conductor, which is silver, but companies do not use it as it is very costly for national use. The opposite is an alloy called Nichrome (80% nickel and 20% Chromium), as it has a high resistance and is regularly used for heating element.

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