• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Factors that affect the resistance of a wire.

Extracts from this document...


James Pearson 11h

Factors that affect the resistance of a wire.

What I am trying to find out:

How the resistance of a wire will be affected when it is subjected to a varied number of factors:

  • Temperature
  • Cross section of a wire
  • Material
  • Length of wire

For this experiment I will be investigating how the length of the wire affects the resistance.


I predict that the resistance of the wire will vary as the thickness, type and length of the wire changes.

        For this experiment I predict that as the length of the wire decreases the resistance will become lower.


        If the wire is twice as long it will have double the particles in it meaning there would be twice the resistance. If the wire is longer the more particles there are for the electrons to pass through making the resistance higher.




        Wire A is 5cm long whereas wire B is 10cm.This means theoretically wire A should have half the resistance of wire B as there are half as many particles for the electrons to pass through.

Electrical resistance is a measure of a materials opposition to the flow of an electric charge. Resistance is usually given the symbol 'R'. The unit for electrical resistance is the ohm.

Ohm's law is the voltage drop (V) across a resistor proportional to the current running through it.

...read more.



The wire will be held against the meter rule then cut 1 meter within the percentage error. The circuit will be set up as shown in the diagram above; The power pack will be connected to an ammeter, which is also connected to the experiment subject, the wire. Across this wire the voltmeter will be connected in parallel. Inside the power pack is the switch used to activate the current and the variable resistor to control the current so that the wire does not get too hot which will affect the resistance. A preliminary test will have to be carried out to determine a suitable current to keep constant that will not affect the heat of the wire too much.

The wire length will be measured to the nearest cm. Millimeters will be avoided because they would lead to using too many different lengths. The circuit will be put into action with 1m of wire in the circuit to begin with. The current will remain constant and the voltage recorded. The wire will then be reduced by 10cm every time then the experiment will be repeated using 90cm of the wire, then 80cm and so on until 10cm is left. The results will be recorded in a table.

Preliminary Method

A variable resistor will be used to change and control the current.

...read more.


The increase in room temperature could prove to be a variable that largely affects the results. To combat this the temperature could be recorded alongside the experiment and could be used to construct a time > temperature graph. With this it would be visible on both graphs where the temperature and resistance fluctuates, if there are corresponding trends then it is possible to draw the conclusion that the room temperature does indeed affect the resistance.

        The range of values could be made larger with smaller intervals. This would give a smoother curve on the graph, as there would be more points to plot. It would also be much more precise and make it easier to spot trends and patterns.

        If I was to retake the experiment I would make a list of all the variables that can affect the resistance and make sure I am in an environment where I can control each one. I would use this as a preliminary experiment as now I have found out all the problems that can arise. Using the results and information gathered from this research I would go on to investigate the resistance of a wire further but not without prior knowledge of how to prevent other variables from affecting my results.

...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)

    Each slope represents the various thickness' of wires I used ranging from 0.4mm to 0.91mm. The 0.4mm wire has the least steep slope, and we say that it has highest resistance, whereas the 0.91mm wire line has the steepest slope and thus we say it has the lowest resistance.

  2. Discover the factors affecting resistance in a conductor.

    The ohms setting should be used. The lengths of the carbon putty will be altered, and the results recorded in a table as shown below. Length (cm) Resistance (ohms) Also, a circuit will be set up as shown below: Voltmeter/Ammeter experiment In this experiment, a power pack will be used,

  1. An investigation into the factors affecting the resistance of a wire.

    Earlier on in my method I stated that from my research, the Nichrome Wire in which I was using (the wire's diameter was 32swg constantan) should give approximately 4-7 ohms of resistance for every 1 meter. I have taken these results off my results table and this is what they show: 0-100cm = 2?

  2. Investigation of the factors that affect the resistance of a wire.

    o Step 2 up to step 8 will then be carried out another three times but using a different wire with the cross sectional area of 0.08 mm2 so that results for all of them are found. PLAN (for investigating how the cross sectional area of a wire affects its

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

    It is also important that the wire does not get too hot since I may later want to take this experiment further and compare these results with those of Nichrome. * The experiment will be duplicated to show up any inaccuracies, keeping all the above factors the same.

  2. Investigate the factors which affect the resistance of a wire.

    the wire * The material the wire is made from I think that the length of the wire will affect the resistance because there are more ions the free electrons have to pass between. I know this because from my own knowledge I know that electricity is passed through a metal by the movement of free electrons.

  1. Factors Affecting the Efficiency of a Wind Turbine

    When the angle is small, there is a high lift force and less drag. This is known as lift-drag ratio and in this situation the ratio is high when the angle is small. Each shape has its best angle of attack that gives the greatest lift-drag ratio.

  2. What Factors Affect the Resistance of an Electrical Conductor?

    * Stop taking readings after all of the ice has melted. Ice will be used to keep the temperature constant. Ice is used because its temperature stays constant until all of the ice has become a liquid.

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