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An investigation to find out how the length of wire affects its resistance

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Introduction

An investigation to find out how the length of wire affects its resistance

Planning

I decided to investigate how the length of wire affects the resistance.  I set up the equipment as shown in the diagram below.  I will use a power supply unit, an easy read ammeter and a voltmeter to measure the voltage and the current passing through.  These ammeters and voltmeters are easy to use because they give you the measurements in digits to 2 decimal places.  I will also use a 1-meter nickel chrome wire (24 gauge) and I will use it for different lengths.  I will do this by using crocodile clips, because the current will flow only between the two places they are clipped to on the wire. I will start of with the length of 30 cm and will go up to 1 meter.  I will repeat every measurement of the length 3 times to obtain a more accurate result by working out the average.  

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The safety precautions that I will take are not to keep the power supply on all the time, so that the wire will not get too hot and every time I will change the measurement I will also switch it of, I will not work close to a water supply.

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Middle

4.55

2nd Trial

Length of wire (cm)

Voltage (Volts)

Current (Amps)

Resistance (Ohms)

30

1.40

1.00

1.40

40

1.60

0.86

1.86

50

1.69

0.72

2.35

60

1.75

0.63

2.78

70

1.80

0.56

3.21

80

1.84

0.50

3.68

90

1.87

0.45

4.16

100

1.73

0.36

4.81

3rd Trial

Length of wire (cm)

Voltage (Volts)

Current (Amps)

Resistance (Ohms)

30

1.40

0.97

1.44

40

1.60

0.80

1.68

50

1.67

0.72

2.32

60

1.73

0.62

2.79

70

1.68

0.55

3.05

80

1.75

0.49

3.57

90

1.81

0.43

4.21

100

1.70

0.42

4.04

Average Measurements

Length

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Conclusion

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I would use pointer instead of crocodile clips, pointers have a smaller surface area so will not affect the resistance to much, and give more accurate measurements.

If I was to do this experiment again to work on resistance I would firstly investigate the type of wire that I just did further by using a wider range of lengths and start of with 20 cm and go up in 5cm (20, 25, 30, 35…).  I would also try different thickness and compare their resistance at the same length to other of different thickness.

I would also try different voltages instead of 2V I would use 4V or 6V.  And I would investigate the resistance of wires of different materials.  

And I would change the temperature; because from my research I found out that the higher the temperature the higher the resistance of the wire, because when the temperature is high the protons and the electrons start to move faster and more chaotic.  I want to find out how the temperature affects different types of wire.

...read more.

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