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Factors Affecting The Resistance Of A Metal Wire.

Extracts from this document...


Helen Roberts 10P

March 2003

Physics AT1


Factors Affecting The Resistance Of A Metal Wire

  1. Investigate some of the factors that affect the resistance of a metal wire. The current and voltage will be measured and then V = IR will be used to calculate the resistance. The potential divider circuit produced better results in the investigation into how resistance depends on the number of identical resistors connected in series, so this circuit will be used for this investigation, too.

Variables and Constants

  1. Possible  variables include  the length  of the wire, the diameter of  the wire, the  material of the wire and  the  temperature.  The  chosen  variable is length of  the wire.  Because  this is  the chosen variable, all of the others must be kept constant. The graph I will  plot  will be the length of the wire (in cm) against the resistance (in Ω).


  1. Trial using a short length and a long length (10cm and 60cm) of each of the three types of wire. The three types of wire are as follows, copper 0.274mm, nichrome 0.274mm and nichrome 0.457mm. The voltage and current will be measured and the resistance calculated (using V = IR). The wire that has the largest variation between the two measurements will be used, to provide the best results possible.

Preliminary Work

...read more.


Length of Wire (cm)

Current (A)

Voltage (V)

Resistance (Ω)

























Repeat 1

Length of Wire (cm)

Current (A)

Voltage (V)

Resistance (Ω)

























Repeat 2

Length of Wire (cm)

Current (A)

Voltage (V)

...read more.



  1. When the readings were repeated, the trend was the same, so I think that the results were quite reliable. That is why I think the evidence is sufficient to support a firm conclusion.


  1. I had one anomaly, and I think that it was because of an error when measuring the length of wire, or perhaps when reading the multimeters. Because there was only one, I think that the rest of the results are good.


  1. I could use more lengths, such as going up to 500cm instead of 300cm. Or use smaller difference between the lengths, such as 10cm, 20cm, 30cm and so on. These could give me a clearer picture of the pattern when increasing the length.

Improving the Reliability

  1. I would try and be more careful when measuring the length of wire used, as I think that is why I had an anomaly. This would improve the reliability of the results, as they would be true to the length of the wire.

Extending the Investigation

  1. To extend the work I could use a different type of wire, or adjust the lengths I used. This would show the trend when varying the lengths and would lead to a better conclusion, and would see if the type of wire affected how the resistance changed.

...read more.

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4 star(s)

This is a well written report.
1. The report lacks an introduction section that contains researched information.
2. The numbers need to be removed from the structure.
3. The conclusion and evaluation are both strong.

Marked by teacher Luke Smithen 13/08/2013

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