• 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
  14. 14

Copper, Constantan, Manganan and Nichrome - which is the best conductor?

Extracts from this document...


Physics Coursework Copper, Constantan, Manganan and Nichrome - which is the best conductor? Background Knowledge Conduction of electricity in metals requires a potential difference across two ends of a conductor for it to occur. This causes a flow of electrons in the wire, more commonly known as a current. The electrons in this current are free, meaning they are can move around in the wire freely. The number of free electrons depends on the wire. The more free electrons the better a conductor it will be. The electrons may however come up against some resistances while flowing in the current. Resistance is the result of energy loss as heat. These resistances or obstacles, which slow the electrons down, are other electrons and the fixed particles of the metal i.e. atoms. These slow the electrons down because while they are flowing freely they collide with the other electrons and the fixed particles. These collisions convert some of the energy that the free electrons are carrying into heat. The resistance of a length of wire is calculated by measuring the current in the circuit (in series) and the voltage across the wire (in parallel). Then the resistance can be found by incorporating these values into this formula: - R = V / I Units V = Potential Difference (Voltage) measured in volts I = Current measured in amps R = Resistance measured in ohms It is also required to know of Ohm's Law, which states that "The current through a metallic conductor is directly proportional to the voltage across its ends if the temperature or other conditions are constant." ...read more.


Take the first wire and set up circuit as shown in the diagram 2. Make sure the voltmeter and ammeter settings are the ones specified in the preliminary work 3. Turn on power supply at low output 4. Place the voltage at correct setting 5. Measure and record the current of the wire from the ammeter 6. Place the voltage at the next setting and again measure and record the current 7. Repeat until you have recorded 5 results 8. Change the wire and repeat steps 2 - 6 until you have got current for all four wires 9. Record all your results in a table and draw up graphs to calculate the resistances for each wire Strategy for results I am now going to draw a specimen table, which I will later use to record the results when I am obtaining my evidence. Then I will draw a specimen graph. This is a sketch of what I think my final graph will look like. This is the table I will record my results in: - Metal Wire Potential Difference (volts) Current (Amps) I will use this table four times, once for each of the wires. Each time I will put in the name of the wire I will be using, and the appropriate scale for the Potential Difference. On this page I have drawn my specimen graph KEY: = Nichrome = Constantan = Manganin = Copper Results I have used the specimen table, which I constructed earlier to record my results. Metal Wire Potential Difference (volts) Current (Amps) Copper 0.02 0.1 0.04 0.18 0.06 0.28 0.08 0.38 0.10 0.45 Metal Wire Potential Difference (volts) ...read more.


I was only 2 ? out this time compared to the nichrome when I was out by over 6 ?. My results for manganin were the best by far. My line of best fit went straight through every point on the graph. I got a final resistance of 5.00 ?. Compared to the book this is again very accurate as the book says it should be 5.3 ?. I was only 0.3 ? out for this result. I didn't have any anomalous results on the graph either. I was very satisfied with the result I got for manganin. Finally copper. My results in the graph were again very accurate with only the last two points being slightly out. I feel a small alteration to my line of best fit would fix those two minor anomalies. The resistance I found the copper wire to be was 0.22 ?, which is a very small 0.028 ? of a difference with the book, which said the resistance for copper was 0.192 ?. Again I was pleased with my result and found it to be suitably accurate. Overall I feel my copper and manganin results are very accurate while my results for constantan and nichrome are less accurate but still quite reliable as none of my results gave me any concern. Any anomalous results may have been because I read the equipment incorrectly or I left the bulb for too long and it heated up too much. I think that my results support my prediction quite sufficiently because as I said in my prediction, copper would have the lowest resistance and therefore be the best conductor, followed by manganin, then constantan and that nichrome would be the worst conductor. My results show this so my prediction must have been suitably accurate. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

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

    Investigate young's modulus behind Constantan and Copper.

    4 star(s)

    The addition of nickel to an alloy makes increases the alloys strength without diminishing its excellent ductility, toughness and corrosion resistance. Nickel increases the ductility of steel while allowing it to maintain its strength. When large quantities of nickel are added (25-35%), the steels not only become tough but also develop high resistance to corrosion and shock.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Draw stress and strain graphs for the metal copper and the alloy constantan. Calculate ...

    4 star(s)

    data will be plotted on the same graph I can find the differences between these materials in terms of young's modulus & elastic limits. Other factors I will be considering in the investigation will be differences in stiffness (Young's Modulus)

  1. Marked by a teacher

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

    3 star(s)

    It also shows us that as the temperature has an effect on resistance. I will use a 100cm long strip of Nichrome wire and attach it to the circuit and the current will be raised and recordings will be taken at different levels.

  2. An experiment to find the resistivity of nichrome

    So if the length is doubled the resistance should also double. This is because if the length is doubled the number of atoms will also double resulting in twice the number of collisions slowing the electrons down and increasing the resistance.

  1. Resistance and Wires

    These all would have developed the investigation and made the conclusions all the more in depth and interesting. There are a range of additional sets of data which could have been beneficial in improving the complexity and reliability of the investigation.

  2. Design Brief

    This will be what I use. They circuit, connect pin 2 to the ground. Output is are used in displays on devices such as bedside radios and car from pin 3. You can measure the length of the instruments. It is usually made from gallium arsenide phosphide, which pulse you have to look at the LED.

  1. The aim of the investigation is to calculate the young's modulus of copper and ...

    and the test wire to help straighten out the wire, the test weights that was added was 500g (approximately 5N). The test weights were added for 2 minutes and this was timed using a stopwatch. After these 2 minutes was up the spirit level was level and the reading on the vernier scale was recorded.

  2. To investigate how the resistances of a metal alloy (constantan) is affected by the ...

    More collisions lead to more resistance. However when an electric current passes though the circuit it causes the wire to heat causing an increase in temperature therefore most resistors do not obey ohms law unless they are kept at a constant temperature.

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