• 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

Determine how the effect of electrical resistance changes with varied length of a metal wire.

Extracts from this document...


Electrical Resistance Coursework


This coursework is based on the topic of electrical resistance.  The aim of this coursework is to determine how the effect of electrical resistance changes with varied length of a metal wire, which is the factor I will be investigating.  In order to do this, I will measure the resistance of the wire at equal length intervals, using a voltmeter in parallel and ammeter in series, and then record the change in resistance in relation to the length of the wire.  In the end I am going to find out as to how resistance of a metal wire varies in relation to the length of the wire used.  

Theoretical Background

        Firstly, resistance shall be dealt with.  Electrical resistance is the opposition to the flow of electric charge (current).  With a given energy source, such as a battery, the size of the current that flows is determined by the resistance of the circuit.  All conductors resist the flow of electric charge to a certain extent, but some conductors are better resistors than others.  The bigger the resistance of a conductor, the harder it is for electric charge to flow through it.

        With a conductor of high resistance, the amount of charge flowing through it is reduced, and energy is released, resulting in the conductor becoming hot, due to friction.

        Resistance can be defines as the ratio of the voltage across an object to the current flowing through it.  The formula to work out the resistance is:

...read more.


increase in resistance, due to frequent collisions.

To do this I would use the same length and width of many different wire materials, using the same amount of voltage each time.

Finally, the length of the wire is a factor. The longer the wire, the longer it will take electrons to get to the end of the wire. This is because there will be more collisions between electrons and atoms. So, in theory, the length of the wire should be directly proportional to the resistance.

This would be very easy to do, and give accurate results. Because of the length being proportional to the resistance, I could link the length of a wire with the resistance of the wire, which would make my graph more interesting.

Due to the effectiveness of this method, I have decided to use the length of the wire as the factor that I am going to use.


I predict that, the longer the wire is, the more resistance there will be due to more collisions between the electrons and atoms. The length of the wire should be approximately proportionally the same as the resistance. In theory, if the wire is doubled, then so will the resistance. If the length is twice as much, then there will be twice as much collisions, which would increase the resistance.



· Crocodile clips

· Ammeter

· Voltmeter

· Power supply

· Meter ruler

· Connecting wires

· sticky tape

· Thin Constantine wire


...read more.


As you can see in the diagram, the wire on the top is twice as big as the one below it, so it has twice the electrons too.


This experiment has gone satisfactory, but there have been certain things in the experiment that I have not been pleased with.

Some of my results have turned out anomalous. This mainly being:

60cm Anomalous

























I have probably ended up with this anomalous result because of an error in recording my results.

However, as you can see from my average resistance graph, the results are roughly on the same line, so this anomalous result did not do much harm when the results are averaged.

I have noticed, now that I have finished my coursework, that there are a number of things I could have done to get more accurate results.

Firstly, I would do the experiment using the width and the material used as a factor too, just to make sure that my averages are as correct as possible.

The next thing I would have done is to use pointers instead of the crocodile clips which I used. This is because pointers are a lot more accurate, because they have a smaller surface area on their tips than crocodile clips. This in effect would give much more accurate measurements.

...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. The Efficiency of an Electric Motor.

    I made many assumptions when I was calculating R. For example, I assumed that V and R are constant. I also assumed that ? was constant through out my experiment, when it actually decreased as the radius of the motor shaft increased. As a consequence of this the value of the internal resistance is only an estimation.

  2. How does length and width affect resistance

    The correlation of the line 0.985981. This tells me that the results are all very close to the line of bets fit; therefore the results are very close to accurate. From this I learnt that my method was reliable and I decided to use the same method but for the real experiment I would experiment 10 lengths.

  1. Does the resistance of an electrical wire depend on its length?

    However from my investigation we are going to find out if the resistance of the circuit will or not change if the length of one of the wire is increased. My hypothesis is therefore that, if you increase the length of one of the wires you also increase the resistance,

  2. Investigating The Effect Of Resistance On A Capacitor Circuit

    0.919 33 0 0 0.028 0.233 0.897 33.5 0 0 0.028 0.226 0.876 34 0 0 0.021 0.212 0.862 34.5 0 0 0.021 0.205 0.841 35 0 0 0.021 0.198 0.82 35.5 0 0 0.021 0.191 0.806 36 0 0 0.014 0.184 0.791 36.5 0 0 0.014 0.177 0.77 37

  1. This coursework will show how the resistance of a wire, (depending on size of ...

    700 5.2 2.10 2.48 Constantan 0.40 800 4.6 4.5 1.02 What this table should show that as diameter decreases then resistance show increase, this table does not show, that as length of wire increases then so should resistance. The reason for this is that I only controlled the length of

  2. To investigate how the electrical resistance of a wire changes in relationship to its ...

    It clearly shows my prediction to be correct. As the length of the piece of wire increases so too does the resistance. If I say that at 20 cm the resistance is 1.3 Ohms and at 40 it's 2.7 Ohms, I can then predict that if the resistance is 2.7 Ohms at 40 cm it will be about 5.4 Ohms at 80 cm.

  1. Resistance Coursework

    I will set up the circuit with a voltmeter and an ammeter connected. I set it up by getting the metre stick and measuring out 100cm of nichrome and sticking it down to the 1 metre ruler. I choose to use a nichrome wire because during my preliminary work nichrome wires show more resistance compared with nickel and copper wire.

  2. To investigate the factors which effect the resistance of a metal wire.

    The increase in space means that there is more space for the electrons to flow freely because there would be fewer collisions with atoms. I could do this by using different widths of a wire; for example thin, medium, or thick copper could be used as well as different diameters of constantan.

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