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Does Increasing the Length of a Nichrome Wire affect its Resistance

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Rob Brown                Science Coursework          

Does Increasing the Length of a Copper Wire affect its Resistance?

Prediction

I predict that as the length of the wire increases I think that the resistance will increase as well. To show this I will need to do an experiment to calculate the resistance using the figures from the Ammeter and Voltmeter at all 10 lengths to see if it does increase.

Current is the flow of electrons through a conductor. I will expect it to change in my experiment because as the current decreases the resistance will increase as well as there is more current needed to work against it if it moves in a longer piece of wire. Current is measured in Amperes or Amps (A or even I)

Voltage is the electric pressure or the potential difference that pushes the electrons around the circuit I would expect it to change in my experiment because it increases due to the greater force needed to push the current around the circuit. Voltage is measured in Volts (V). Also as the electrons make their way through the wire, they release energy. The voltmeter measures the energy in the wire. The longer the wire the more energy is transferred due to negative metal atoms collisions

When charged electrons in a conductor move around they will collide with the atoms of the conductor. This makes it harder for the current to flow around and causes Resistance. Electrons collide with atoms more often if they are in a longer

...read more.

Middle

Position Number on VR

I – Amps (Current)

V – Volts (Voltage)

Resistance (Ohms)

1

0.23

2.58

11.21

2

0.22

2.49

11.31

3

0.21

2.36

11.23

4

0.20

2.26

11.30

5

0.20

2.23

11.15

2nd Time

Position Number on VR

I – Amps (Current)

V – Volts (Voltage)

Resistance (Ohms)

1

0.22

2.54

11.54

2

0.21

2.35

11.19

3

0.20

2.38

11.90

4

0.19

2.18

11.47

5

0.19

2.14

11.26

The resistance is increasing which I predicted earlier; I am going to carrying on investigating and see if it still increases with 40cm now.

40cm -1st Time

Position Number on VR

I – Amps (Current)

V – Volts (Voltage)

Resistance (Ohms)

1

0.18

2.70

15.0

2

0.17

2.54

14.94

3

0.17

2.28

13.41

4

0.15

2.33

15.53

5

0.16

2.34

14.62

2nd Time

Position Number on VR

I – Amps (Current)

V – Volts (Voltage)

Resistance (Ohms)

1

0.18

2.63

14.61

2

0.17

2.57

15.11

3

0.17

2.48

14.58

4

0.15

2.37

15.8

5

0.16

2.37

14.81

The resistance is still increasing which I like to see. However I can still prove this by plotting my results on a graph and seeing the steepness of the trend as the length increases. I am going to move up to 50cm and do the same.

50cm-1st Time

Position Number on VR

I – Amps (Current)

V – Volts (Voltage)

Resistance (Ohms)

1

0.14

2.69

19.21

2

0.14

2.59

18.5

3

0.13

2.44

18.76

4

0.13

2.42

18.61

5

0.12

2.29

19.08

2nd Time

Position Number on VR

I – Amps (Current)

V – Volts (Voltage)

Resistance (Ohms)

1

0.15

2.69

17.93

2

0.14

2.47

17.64

3

0.13

2.49

19.15

4

0.13

2.42

18.61

5

0.13

2.36

18.15

3rd Time

Position Number on VR

I – Amps (Current)

V – Volts (Voltage)

Resistance (Ohms)

1

0.15

2.71

18.06

2

0.14

2.58

18.42

3

0.13

2.54

19.53

4

0.13

2.31

17.76

5

0.13

2.35

18.07

Ever since 10cm, the resistance has increased over time. I am going to increase the length even more and continue with the next cm length which is 60cm

60cm – 1st Time

Position Number on VR

I – Amps (Current)

V – Volts (Voltage)

Resistance (Ohms)

1

0.12

2.72

22.67

2

0.09

2.11

23.44

3

0.11

2.60

23.63

4

0.11

2.53

23.0

5

0.11

2.50

22.72

60cm – 2nd Time

Position Number on VR

I – Amps (Current)

V – Volts (Voltage)

Resistance (Ohms)

1

0.12

2.73

22.75

2

0.09

2.10

23.33

3

0.11

2.56

23.27

4

0.11

2.54

23.09

5

0.11

2.51

22.81

The resistance is again increasing; I am going to continue with 70cm. As 100cm is my last cm that I am going to experiment with I cant go anymore longer as this is the longest the school can provide us with (unless we use another ruler) but looking at my results already I can see that its steadily increasing.

70cm – 1st Time

Position Number on VR

I – Amps (Current)

V – Volts (Voltage)

Resistance (Ohms)

1

0.11

2.74

24.90

2

0.10

2.70

27.0

3

0.10

2.65

26.5

4

0.10

2.58

25.8

5

0.10

2.55

25.5

...read more.

Conclusion

I have plotted my gradient results on a graph and I can see that as you increase the length, you also increase the gradient as well. This is because there is an uptrend on the line which shows a direct relationship between the resistances gradient and the length of the wire as it goes straight through zero, which I can show on my graph.

In the experiment, I think the wire may have been overheated which then gave us incorrect data to work with. This is all because if the metal atoms are heated, they start to vibrate which means it’s harder for the electrons to pass through the wire. To correct this I would turn the PowerPack off to let the wire cool down, lower the voltage setting or even put the wire in a trough filled with cold ice or cotton wool.

To extend my investigation even more I would consider changing:

  • The thickness of the wire
  • or the material of the wire to see if they also affect the resistance of the wire when you increase the length.

If I did change the material of the wire I would choose:

  • Nichrome

Reason being is because I would like investigate if Nichrome Wire is more of a good conductor compared to Copper Wire which would show a difference in results or in a faster increase of resistance. This maybe because of its metallic structure in the wire, which is based on how fast the electrons will have to pass through it.

 of

...read more.

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