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How does the length of a piece of wire affect its resistance?

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Introduction

Physics Coursework Katie Haycock 15/11/03 How does the length of a piece of wire affect its resistance? Prediction: I predict that the longer the length of the wire, the higher its resistance. I think this because I know that resistance is when a voltage pushes a current through a circuit, the resistance works against the flow of current. The way resistance is measured is in ohms (?). The formula to work out resistance is: R=V (Resistance=Voltage/ Current) I I will use this formula throughout my investigation. I think that when a length of wire increases, the resistance will also be higher because there will be more fixed atoms in the wire. Therefore the moving electrons collide more, which increases the resistance. In the complete physics book it says, "Doubling the length of a piece of wire doubles its resistance". This is another reason why I predict that the longer the length of a piece of wire the higher the resistance. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore I will keep the thickness of the wire the same as in the book it also says that this can have an effect on resistance. I will also use Eureka wire because it doesn't change its resistance when the temperature increases. Temperature needs to be kept the same but this isn't possible, but by using eureka wire we know that the resistance doesn't change even though the temperature increases. To get accurate results I will make sure I do everything with care and accuracy so it's reliable. I will try to keep all of my controlled variables constant so my results will only be a measure of the resistance on different lengths of wire. I will check the reliability of my results by drawing a graph, and if there are any anomalous results then I will take another set of readings. This experiment doesn't have a very high level of danger, but there is a risk of electrocution. The eureka wire will also get hot, so I will have to be careful not to touch it, and not to put anything which could melt or catch fire near it. ...read more.

Conclusion

This was the resistance for 30cms of wire, and 40cms of wire. These results didn't fit the line of best fit, and so to get better results I had to repeat these particular tests. Apart from these 2 results I feel my results were reliable as I followed my plan, and was very careful in all of my work. To make my results more reliable I could have done 3 sets of results in the first place and used the averages. I couldn't do this because there wasn't enough time. I feel I carried out the experiment very accurately because I used two decimal places to measure the volts, and the current. Then I rounded up the resistance because it was easier to plot onto my graph. I collected enough results to come to my conclusion as I repeated anomalous results. To improve my investigation I could have made sure the Eureka wire was at room temperature by putting water in secure plastic bags around it. This would stop it getting hot, and would make it an even fairer test. This way I could have proved that the temperature couldn't have changed the resistance of the wire. ...read more.

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