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How Does the Length of A Wire Affect Its Resistance?

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Thomas Cowles

Investigation: How Does the Length of A Wire Affect Its Resistance?

Outline Plan: -

In this investigation I am going to investigate how the length of a wire affects the resistance. I am going to connect some Nichrome wire to a power pack. In the circuit there will be an anmeter (which is in series) and a voltmeter (which is in parallel). I will take the readings from the voltmeter to record the voltages and I will take readings from the anmeter and record from it to record the currents.

        To investigate the effects the length of the Nichrome wire has on the resistance, I will make the wire shorter by 10cm each time (the full length of the wire will be 140cm) after each reading I do. To make the experiment fair I will use the same wire throughout the experiment so that the experiment won’t be bias. Also I will use a ruler so that I can cut the wire accurately without any pieces of wire cut off which are bigger or smaller than the cut wire before. I will find the resistance for each reading by dividing the voltage by the current: -

 R = V                                                  R = Resistance

         I                                                   I = Current

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    Nichrome Wire On

    Two 1 metre rulers

The crocodile clips will then be connected to the Nichrome wire which are on the two 1-metre rulers at 140cm to 0cm. The power pack will then be turned on. I will record the voltage and current in a result table and then reduce the wire by 10cm for the next set of results (e.g. the lengths will be 140cm, 130cm, 120cm, 110cm, 100cm, 90cm, 80cm, 70cm, 60cm, and 50cm). The experiment will be done repeatedly until the wire is cut to 50cm.

        We can’t go any lower than 50cm because the wire may get too hot and will burn and maybe melt the wire, which could break the circuit and ruin the experiment. The experiment will be repeated twice at each measurement to make sure the results are accurate.

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        The ways, which I could use to improve my experiment, would be to get a two-metre ruler so that I won’t have to tape to one-metre rulers together. Another way in which I could improve my experiment could be to leave the wire to hang freely without the ruler underneath it so that there won’t be resistance being caused in the Nichrome wire from the ruler.

        The evidence I have got is reliable enough to support the conclusion since there is only one anomaly and that the results from the tables are perfect enough to make a suitable graphs to show how the length of the wire affects the resistance in the wire.

        Further work in which I can do to see how wire affects the resistance by seeing if the tubing around a wire has any affect on the resistance and for this experiment I could use wires with different thickness of tubing. Another experiment I could do for seeing how the wire affects the resistance by changing the voltage to see how the voltage affects the resistance in the wire.

...read more.

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