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Factors that affect the resistance in a wire

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Science Coursework


Factors that affect the resistance in a wire


I shall look at various factors which can affect the resistance of a wire and investigate one of these in greater detail. I shall start off with theory on resistance and use it to make a prediction and then plan and carry out an experiment to obtain enough evidence to prove or disprove my prediction. From my data I shall plot graphs. I shall finish off by looking at errors and inaccuracies in my experiment and suggest improvements.


An electric current is the flow of electrons through a conductor. As these flow through the wire they encounter obstacle molecules, which are found in side the wire, and if they collide with these molecules they pass their kinetic energy to the obstacle molecules causing them to vibrate even faster than before leading to the heating up of the wire and the electrons loose their kinetic energy and slow down; thereby reducing the current flow.

        If the cross section (thickness)

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1) Find the most suitable wires to use and the most suitable voltage from the power

pack to use

2) Connect the wire that is to be tested to the circuit and switch on the power pack to    volts

3) Read off the readings from the ammeter and the voltmeter

4) Repeat steps 2) and 3) for each wire 3 times to reduce experimental errors

5) Once experiment is complete disconnect all equipment

6) Work out the resistance from my readings off the ammeter and voltmeter

7) Plot graphs and analyze my results.


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rd test got the highest resistance of 5.1, or bends on the wire may of caused the second test to get the lowest resistance of 2.9.  There were some other odd results as for the wire with 0.8mm squared varied from 18.2 to 22.5 which could have been caused by slight mistakes in my readings from the ammeter and voltmeter.

        I could have improved my experiment had I left the wires to cool down before taking the next set of results or made sure that there was no bending in the wire. I could have obtained more data by collecting data from other groups doing the same experiment and averaging them and I could have carried out the experiment with an even wider range of thicknesses, but overall I felt that experiment provided enough, reliable results to prove my prediction correct.

By Omer Tarmohamed 11QU

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