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How does the length of a nichrome wire affect the resistance in the circuit?

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Introduction

How does the length of a nichrome wire

affect the resistance in the circuit?

Plan

In this investigation I am going to find out how the length of a piece of nichrome wire affects the resistance in a circuit. The different variable I could look at include length, thickness, temperature, current and voltage. Testing to see how the length will affect the resistance I am going to set up a circuit and connect an ammeter and a certain length of wiring in series. I will then connect the voltmeter in parallel to the wire. When I turn on the power supply I will try and make the flow of current through the circuit last for just a few seconds and quickly take the readings on the ammeter and the voltmeter. This is because the wire is so thin when the current passes through it the wire melts and increases the resistance. Once the wire has cooled down I will turn on the power supply again (keeping the wire the same length) and re-take the readings on the ammeter and the voltmeter. I will do this for a third time and write down the readings. I will then cut the wire a certain length and repeat this again. For each different length of the wire I will take three readings to make sure I have correct results and that it is a fair test.

...read more.

Middle

800

1.13

0.38

0.3363

900

1.0

0.39

0.3861

1000

0.9

0.40

0.4444

Here are the results from doing the experiment a second time:-

Length of Wire (mm)

Current (amps)

Voltage (volts)

Resistance (ohm’s)

100

5.30

0.10

0.0187

200

4.22

0.34

0.0806

300

2.80

0.36

0.1286

400

2.00

0.36

0.18

500

1.81

0.36

0.1989

600

1.52

0.37

0.2434

700

1.28

0.38

0.3141

800

1.13

0.38

0.3363

900

1.0

0.39

0.3861

1000

0.9

0.40

0.4444

Here are the results from doing the experiment a third time:-

...read more.

Conclusion

        When the power supply was switched on, I could only leave it on for a few seconds and take a quick reading from the ammeter and the voltmeter. This was because the wire was very thin and the voltage was quite high for the thickness of the wire and so it would melt very easily. If I left the power supply on then the voltmeter reading would start to decrease because of the resistance in the wire increasing. This would show anomalies in the results so I had to switch on the circuit for only a few seconds and re-take the test three times to make sure I was writing down fair and accurate results.

Ways in which I could improve the experiment is before I actually do the tests on the different lengths of wire, test out three different lengths and just see what sort of results I was likely to get from the experiment. This would help me see of the experiment was going totally wrong and if the resistance was decreasing instead of increasing and the wire length got longer.

...read more.

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