• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13

Constantan Wire Investigation

Extracts from this document...



 My aim is to find the factors, which affect the resistance of a wire or a conductor. These factors are: (a) material from which wire is made, (b) length of wire, and (c) thickness of wire.

I will choose to look at three different materials: Copper, Constantan and Nichrome and find out which one offers more resistance than others. For each material I am going to measure the current and voltage 3 times, a total of nine measurements for the three materials. Replication of measurements this way will make my results more reliable.  

I shall also investigate the effect of wire length on resistance by varying the length of wire and recording the corresponding current and voltage. This experiment will show me whether the resistance will increase as the length of wire increases.

Although wire diameter is the third factor that affects wire resistance, I shall not experiment with this factor here, as I will be content with the first two factors only.


In my investigation I predict that as I change the materials (Copper, Constantan and Nichrome) different readings from the ammeter and voltage will occur, and I expect that copper will have the least resistance of the three materials, followed by constantan, and then nichrome.  In other words I expect copper to be the highest conducting material, and nichrome the lowest conducting material, while constantan ranks second to copper. The reason is that copper allows more current to flow because it does not hold the electrons very hard compared to constantan and nichrome which are alloys that hang on to their electrons more tightly and therefore tend to have high resistance to electrical current.  The following electron distribution shapes give qualitative ideas as to why copper has highest conductivity (and least resistance)

...read more.


In the other Experiment – First thing that I’m going to do is to find a suitable metre ruler which match’s my requirements and then place a length of wire over a metre long and sellotaped it to a metre rule. Then I’m going clip a crocodile clip at the reading, which say 0cm. And then attached another crocodile clip which moves up and down the wire, stopping at 10,20,30,40,50, 60, 80, 90 and 100cm.In this experiment I’m going to read the voltage and the current from its ammeter and voltage meter very carefully, this is because it will allow me to calculate the resistance of each length, Each time reading the ammeter and voltmeter to work out resistance R = V/I.

Ranges of numbers and readings

The range of wire length I am going to investigate varies from 10 cm to 100 cm. This allows me to have a fair test on the effect of wire length on resistance. Also In this experiment I will be observing and repeating this experiment 3 times to give a much more accurate set of results. I will take the average of the three measurements for each material in order to get reliable results to calculate the resistance. Since there are three materials there will be nine measurements for voltage and current.


To keep this experiment as accurate as possible we need to make sure, firstly, that the length of the wire is measured precisely from the inside edge of the crocodile clips, making sure that the wire is straight when we do this. We must also make sure that the wire is straight when we conduct the experiment. If it is not, short circuits may occur and bends in the wire may effect the resistance, also.

...read more.


I have noticed several modifications I could make to improve on the Investigation if I was to repeat it.
The first of these modifications would be the circuit that I would use. To be more accurate with my results I would place the Metre rule directly under the wire, so therefore it would be measured easier and therefore making the lengths more precise.
Instead of connecting the voltmeter to the main circuit, I would connect it to the wire that is being tested. I would do this so that the voltmeter is measuring the voltage of just the wire being tested and not the wires of the main circuit as well.
To also improve on my results I could use a new or higher quality digital voltmeter. The next modification I would make would be to use pointers instead of crocodile clips to attach to the wire; I would do this because pointers would be more accurate. The pointers would be more accurate because the tips have a much smaller area than the crocodile clips giving a more accurate measurement of the length of wire. I would also use a newer metre rule. The graph shows that my results are reliable as there are only two anomalous points, to improve the reliability of my results, I could also have repeated the same lengths of wire more times

By Taha Elhassan

...read more.

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. Marked by a teacher

    An Investigation To See How Resistance Can Be Changed By Variables.

    4 star(s)

    This should give me a straight line when drawing a graph. The gradient of this line will be determined by the amount if resistance intentionally of the wire, and will stay constant al the way through giving a straight line of best fit.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Resistance Aim: my main aim is to investigate the factors that affect the resistance ...

    3 star(s)

    material, its temperature, dimensions, and thermal properties; degree of impurity; the nature and state of illumination of the surface; and the frequency and magnitude of the current. The SI unit of resistance is the ohm (?). Resistors are devices, as a coil or length of wire, used in a circuit

  1. Free essay

    Resistance Investigation. My aim in this investigation is to measure the amount of resistance ...

    The wire lengths will be 10cm, 15cm, 20cm, 25cm, and 30cm. Apparatus diagram: Preliminary results: Using Ohms law of resistance = volts / current the resistance could be measured. Length of wire (cm) Material Volts on the voltmeter (v)

  2. Does Increasing the Length of a Nichrome Wire affect its Resistance

    The steeper the line the higher the gradient. The gradient of these lines = Resistance. Each length of wire should follow Ohms law as Nichrome is a good conductor and the wire should not overheat causing a deviation from ohms law I plan to calculate the gradients of each line.

  1. How the length of nichrome wire affects the resistance

    I will use nichrome wire. I will not change the material of the wire because different materials have different resistances and some conduct electricity better than others. I will measure the wire accurately will a ruler to make sure I have the right length of wire.

  2. Free essay

    How the length of constantan wire affects the ressistance in a electrical circuit

    Different materials have different amount of electrons in the outer shells this will affect the wire because it the electrons are free to move around the resistance will be low. But if the electrons are jam packed the resistance will be high.

  1. Investigate how mass affects the diameter of an impact crater.

    I found that all the balls available to conduct the experiment have masses of varying assortment. This will make it difficult to produce results that have comparable trends and relationships and more importantly this will not give me independent control over the values.

  2. Resistance of a Wire Investigation

    Risk Assessment: I will handle the power supply carefully. I am going to only use a voltage of 2 volts. I will be careful when handling live wires. Apparatus: Power Supply Ammeter Voltmeter Thin Constantine wire Meter Ruler Crocodile Clips Connecting Wires I have chosen to use thin Constantine wire

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