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An investigation to find out if the conduction of electricity in carbon paper follows similar rules to that in wires with respect to the length and cross sectional area.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

An investigation to find out if the conduction of electricity in carbon paper follows similar rules to that in wires with respect to the length and cross sectional area.

Plan:

Conduction in metals occurs when electrons drift through the metal lattice.  Electrons in metal are not tightly bound to the nucleus and so therefore can ‘drift’ through the metal lattice.

Length and width will be the two variables in my experiment.  Altering the width of the paper will not affect the length of the paper the flow of electricity needs to flow through but will change the cross sectional area.  On the other hand varying the length of the paper will affect the length and not the cross sectional area.  In the following two experiments I will try to find out what or how much effect these variables have in the resistance present in the circuit shown below:

Apparatus needed:

  • Power Pack
  • Carbon Paper
  • Wires
  • Crocodile clips
  • Small M/Ammeter
  • Voltmeter
  • Piece of wood

Method:

I will add the Carbon paper in to the circuit by attaching to two wires using bulldog clips to ensure full contacts with the paper. I will use a voltmeter and a milli-ammeter to measure the resistance in each part of the experiment.  I will measure a certain length of carbon coated paper and clip it on to the

...read more.

Middle

Length (cm)

Potential Difference

(V)

Current (mA)

Resistance (kΩ)

Average Resistance

20.5

10.2

2.2

4.636

4.621

Repeated 20.5

10.1

2.2

4.591

Repeated 20.5

10.2

2.2

4.636

18

10.2

2.4

4.250

4.333

Repeated 18

10.3

2.3

4.478

Repeated 18

10.25

2.4

4.271

15

10.2

2.6

3.923

3.929

Repeated 15

10.2

2.6

3.923

Repeated 15

10.25

2.6

3.942

12

10.1

3.2

3.156

3.177

Repeated 12

10.2

3.2

3.188

...read more.

Conclusion

To improve our experiment I should have collected more results and taken the average again as then my results would have been more reliable even though I did already do repeats.  Other ways to improve my experiment include measuring the carbon paper more accurately.  Using a centimetre ruler to measure it may not have given me the exact length of paper I wanted, perhaps I should have used a ruler with smaller readings on and an extremely sharp knife to cut it instead of blunt school scissors.

To extend my experiment I could investigate how other factors effect the conduction of electricity in carbon paper.  For example I could investigate whether temperature has any effect on it.  I could subject the carbon paper to different temperatures using a heater and then a cool fan, and take a reading of the resistance to see if/how it affects it.

I could also investigate in to using different metals other than carbon to coat the paper in and then see how if affects the resistance.

In conclusion I can say that the conduction of electricity in carbon paper does follo


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...read more.

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