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An Investigation into the Resistance of Wire.

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Introduction

An Investigation into the Resistance of Wire Plan Our aim is to measure the resistance of a given piece of wire choosing just one variable out of temperature, width and material. To help us predict the result of the actual investigation we first did a prelim experiment using length as our variable. We set up a circuit as shown below: We cut the wire by 25cm each time making the length smaller and recorded the amps and voltage measurements. We found out that the shorter the wire became the lower the resistance became as shown in the table below: Length of wire (m) Amps Volts Resistance 1.00 0.12 1.09 9.08 0.75 0.14 0.89 6.36 0.50 0.16 0.64 4.00 0.25 0.17 0.41 2.41 This helps us with our prediction and other information and research about electrons and ohms law also help us predict what the results will be like. Ohm showed that doubling the voltage doubles the current. Treble the voltage will give treble the current, and so on. The larger the resistance, the greater the voltage needed to push each ampere of current through it. This led to the definition of one ohm, "A resistor has a resistance of one ohm, if a voltage of one volt will drive a current of one ampere through it." ...read more.

Middle

We repeated this method twice to give us an average, so we could get more accurate results. We made this experiment a fair test by keeping the voltage going through the circuit the same every time. Also, the same wire was used every time so that the diameter and the material of the resistor were the same. This would have kept the experiment a fair test, as there was no advantage or disadvantage for each experiment that was taken. Observation Length (m) Volts Amps Resistance (Ohms) 1st 2nd Average 1st 2nd Average 1.00 3.69 3.73 3.71 0.18 0.18 0.18 20.61 0.90 3.62 3.61 3.62 0.20 0.20 0.20 18.10 0.80 3.44 3.45 3.45 0.22 0.22 0.22 15.68 0.70 3.28 3.28 3.28 0.24 0.24 0.24 13.67 0.60 3.03 3.05 3.04 0.27 0.27 0.27 11.26 0.50 2.86 2.85 2.86 0.30 0.30 0.30 9.53 0.40 2.56 2.58 2.57 0.33 0.33 0.33 7.79 0.30 2.21 2.21 2.21 0.38 0.38 0.38 5.82 0.20 1.71 1.17 1.71 0.44 0.44 0.44 3.89 0.10 1.03 1.02 1.03 0.53 0.53 0.53 1.94 Analysis The results from the graph (see back page) and the results table give a clear indication of how the resistance compares to the wire length. There is a very strong positive correlation on the graph. This means that when the length of the wire decreases, the resistance also decreases or as x got smaller y got smaller. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also if the atoms in the material are closely packed then the electrons will have more frequent collisions and the resistance will increase. If I chose to measure the difference in the resistance in different materials I would chose a number of different materials and using the same voltage of 6. I would record the resistance given by each wire of the same length and width. If the wires width is increased the resistance will decrease. This is because of the increase in the space for the electrons to travel through. Due to this increased space between the atoms there should be less collisions. To measure the wire width I would use different widths of the same length and same material of wire e.g. thin, medium and thick copper wire. To record the difference in widths I would use the same voltage and measure the resistance for each thickness. For all of these experiments I would use the same circuit shown in the investigation for the resistance of wire, determined by the length. I would keep a constant voltage of two. I would have to be very careful again in not over heating the wire. I would be able to therefore work out the resistance and determine which materials, length and width of wire would be most useful in certain circumstances. ...read more.

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