• 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

Factors affecting the resistance of a wire

Extracts from this document...


Eleri Fflur Parry

PHYSICS COURSEWORK – Factors affecting the resistance of a wire                                      


In this coursework I am going to have to choose a factor that will affect the resistance of the wire. I’m going to choose only one factor to investigate. I shall decide on which factor I will use by looking at the four different factors that affect the resistance of a wire. I will choose which factor I will use by looking at each factor individually. I will find out which one would be the most affective and the easiest factor to measure.

Resistance occurs when the electrons traveling along the wire collide with the atoms of the wire. These collisions slow down the flow of electrons causing resistance. Resistance is a measure of how hard it is to move the electrons through the wire. The four things that can affect resistance are the length of the wire the width of the wire the material and the temperature of the wire.

The temperature of the wire would affect the resistance because as the wire is heated up the atoms in the wire will start

...read more.



1. Wire, over 50 cm long

2. Rheostat

3. Power supply

4. Six connecting wires

5. Two crocodile clips

6. Voltmeter

7. Ammeter


1. Connect circuit as shown in the diagram.

2. Adjust rheostat until the ammeter reads .3 A.

3. Record voltage on voltmeter

4. Repeat the experiment with the following lengths of wire, connected between the two crocodile clips:

- 10 cm

- 15 cm

- 20 cm

- 25 cm

- 30 cm

- 35 cm

- 40 cm

- 45 cm

- 50 cm

5. Use Ohm´s law to find the resistance of the wire, equation (1).



this is not a very dangerous experiment but despite this you must always handle electricity with care, keep the current low, handle with dry hands etc.

Accuracy: 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 and kinks in the wire may effect the resistance, also. The reading that we take of the voltage should be done fairly promptly after the circuit is connected.

...read more.


Most errors in our experiment were encountered in the measuring of the wire. This is because it simply was not very practical to hold a piece of wire straight, whilst holding it next to a ruler and then trying to accurately fix crocodile clips to the right part on the wire. Also I do not feel that the crocodile clips were always fixed securely to the wire with a good connection. This also meant that they were easy to move about on the wire changing the length of it. Errors rarely occurred in the setting of the current and the reading of the voltage. It was just in the preparation area that they did occur. Another example of this is the wire was never totally straight when we started the experiment, which may also, as said earlier on, effect the resistance of it..

I do not think that doing any more results in our experiment would have made it any more accurate. I feel that the only way to make it more accurate would be to use a different method – perhaps were we had a bar that did not bend in place of the wire. We could even use a rheostat in place of the wire, because it is essentially a long coiled wire that is connected at different lengths to change the resistance of the circuit

...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

    The factors affecting the resistance of a metalic conductor.

    4 star(s)

    I also did a fair test because I followed the precaution of using the same equipment each time the experiment had to be carried out. Thus I can regard my results as being reliable values, as when compared to actual values, such as getting a 5 resistance for the 50cm

  2. Physics GCSE Coursework:Factors affecting the resistance of a wire

    A (mm2) 38 0.152 0.01824 34 0.234 0.04301 28 0.376 0.1104 26 0.457 0.16403 Because of the limitations at my school, only 4 different SWG wires where available to me, and so my graph will have at the most 4 points on it, therefore being not as accurate as if I had for example 10 points.

  1. The aim of this investigation is to investigate the factors affecting the resistance of ...

    A pressure difference maintained across two ends of the pipe by a pump is like the potential difference, or voltage, across a wire maintained by a battery. The rate of flow of water, analogous to the rate of current, depends on the type of pipe used.

  2. Discover the factors affecting resistance in a conductor.

    Focus on getting a good diameter. Worry about the length afterwards.) 3) Once the putty is at the correct length and diameter, connect the two 2p coins to either end of the putty (making sure they are attached to the crocodile clips.

  1. Investigate one or more factors affecting the resistance of metal wires

    Steps 4 and 5 were repeated - each time I increased the wire length by 10cm until the length of the wire was 100cm, which was my last reading. (Note that I started taking readings at the shorter lengths of wire and gradually increased to the longer lengths because

  2. Factors affecting Resistance of a wire

    There will be twice the amount of wire particles (as 20cm is twice 10cm), which should technically mean that there would be twice the amount of collisions. Although we cannot measure the amount of collisions, we can measure the resistance and I would expect this to be higher than that of 10cm.

  1. To investigate the factors affecting current in a wire.

    Length is a non-linear variable because I don't expect it to be directly proportional to current. I previously considered investigating the cross-sectional area of the wire because this factor is probably the most effective one that has the greatest influence on the current in a wire.

  2. Investigating the factors affecting the resistance in a piece of wire.

    shown above with the power pack set at a constant voltage of 2 volts. 2 I will use 2 different lengths of wire in my preliminary, the largest 100cm and the smallest 10cm so I can find the material with the largest resistance range.

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