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An investigation is being done to find out what affects the amount of resistance there is through a wire.

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Introduction

Leanne Haines 11B

Physics – Wires Investigation

        An investigation is being done to find out what affects the amount of resistance there is through a wire.

Variables

Input

Outcome

Length of Wire

Resistance of wire

Thickness of the wire (diameter / area)

Resistance of wire

Type of wire

Resistance of wire

The Temperature

Resistance of wire

To make the test fair, only one variable is going to be changed, the others will be left constant.  The variable that I am going to change is the thickness of the wire.  The type of wire I will be using is constantan.  The length of the wire will be 90cm.  The wire will be this length as the longer the wire, the less time it takes for it to heat up.  If the wire becomes hot the results will change as the electrons in the wire gain more energy.  The investigation will be done at room temperature and in the same room so that the temperature of the wire will be kept constant.

        All atoms are made up of a positively charged nucleus surrounded by small negatively charged particles called electrons.  In the case of metals, some of

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Middle

9.23

9.03

0.0234

4.73

5.05

4.42

4.73

From these results we can see that the thicker the wire the longer it took for the wire to heat up.  This is because there are more metal ions to heat so therefore it takes longer.  These results have given us a good idea of how long the power supply can be left on before the results will be affected.  The time it takes for the other thickness’ of wire to heat will increase as the wire gets thicker.

Method

The above circuit was set up at room temperature.  A voltmeter was used to measure the potential difference of the wire and an ammeter was used to measure the current.  90 cm of the 1st thickness of constantan was placed into the circuit, the power supply was turned on and the current and potential differences were measured.  The experiment was done 3 times and an average resistance was found.  The power supply was only on for a few seconds, (the time it took to get a result).  It was then quickly turned off to prevent the wire from heating up and the results from being affected.  It was also done for our safety.

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Conclusion

Evaluation

        As you can see from the results table there where no obvious anomalous points.  The voltage was varied to show that V/I was constant if the temperature didn’t change.  The length of the wire was kept the same for each test.  The experiment was repeated three times to get a more accurate average and each time the test was repeated the same piece of wire was used.  The same type of wire was used throughout the investigation.  The variation also helped produce a more accurate average.  The evidence obtained is good enough to support a firm conclusion. A micrometer screw gauge was used to measure the thickness of the wire.  

I think the experiments done were quite accurate, although I think more could have been done to prevent the wire from heating up.  We could have timed how long the power supply had been left on more accurately so that, by using our preliminary work, we could have been able to predict more accurately when the wire was getting hot, and therefore when the results could have been effected.

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