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Find out how we can reduce the resistance of the wire.

Extracts from this document...


Physics investigation

We know that when we send electricity from the power stations to our homes some of the electrical energy is “lost” due to the resistance of the wire.

To reduce this loss we send the energy at a high voltage and a low current.

In this investigation we want you to find out how we can reduce the resistance of the wire.

Preliminary investigation

In order for us to do our final investigation we must do a preliminary investigation. This way I can find out how the temperature affects the resistance of the wire.

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Conclusion for graph

The results from the graph show us that the resistance stays the same. However the maximum current that we could use for the experiment is 1-amp. At around this level the current heats the wire causing the sellotape to melt and the wood could burn. The

wire expands and starts to loose shape. Going higher than this would be too dangerous and it would make it impossible to be sure the results are valid.


In a metal there are electrons and atoms. Electricity is conducted through the wire by means of free electrons gaining energy and flowing freely through the conductors. As they flow freely through these conductors there is a certain chance of them being captured by the metal atoms. As we know free electrons are responsible for conduction, the more there are the better the conductor so the lower the resistance. However if lots of electrons are captured by the atoms then there wont be as many for conduction so the resistance will be greater. Resistance results in energy loss as heat.

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                                           Double length=double resistance

10  20  30  40  50  60  70  80  90  100image05.png

gradient =   up     =   Ω      

                across       cm


I think my experiment worked well because my results were as I predicted them to be and I did a fair test. Also there wasn’t any major errors. From looking at my graph I can see it is a straight diaganol line just as I predicted. This shows it is directly proportional. To imrove my experiment and get more accurate results I could nail or solder the wire down to the ruler. This way it is more secure than the sellotape and it cant move out of position. Instead of using crocodile clips, as these could put a kink in the wire. I could use a knife edge or something metal to just touch the wire, as this is a conductor so still allows a current to flow through. I think I have enough results to be sure of what I wrote in my conclusion. I think this because my results prove the theory as length increases resistance increases.  

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This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Electricity and Magnetism section.

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