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How variables effect the Resistance of a Wire.

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Introduction

How variables effect the Resistance of a Wire My aim is to explain how current flows through a wire and also to explain how different things can effect the resistance. I will be collecting data to see the resistance when the length or diameter of a wire is changed. An electric current is made up of thousands of electrons passing through a wire. Everything is made up of tiny particles. Some of these particles are called electrons and can move when there is an electrical current. The more electrons that are flowing, the larger the current. Current is measured in Amperes (or Amps) this is shown as A. As electrons flow through a wire they pump into atoms in the wire. Electrons only flow when given electrical energy. Energy is often given through an electrical cell or battery. If the cell is a complete circuit the electrons are pushed out of one end of the cell round the circuit to the other end. The size of the push is called the potential difference or voltage. The bigger the pd the bigger the current that will flow around the circuit. Voltage is measured in Volts (V). Resistance is how difficult it is for current to flow through something. ...read more.

Middle

The following data is the result from the real experiment. For the experiment I will connect a piece of nicrome wire with a swag of 26 to a meter ruler. I will connect the wire to clips connected to the power pact. The power pack will provide a voltage of 3 Amps. There will be an ammeter connected to the wire to measure current. I need to know the current so I can use V=IxR to work out the resistance. I will take 5 readings at each length to insure data collected is accurate and I can see a trend and delete anomalies if the occur. I will measure in 10cm intervals so we can see a pattern. It would be harder to see a pattern otherwise. If we did it at larger intervals (eg. 20cms) there wouldn't be enough room on the ruler to carry out as many different lengths as possible. For example, with 10cm intervals we can measure 10 different lengths but with 20cm intervals we could only measure 5. We use nicrome because there is a large stock available and it is the same as the one I used in the trial test on the computer so we are able to compare. We use 3 volts because if it was any higher the wire would start getting hot and would cause more resistance the longer it was turned on. ...read more.

Conclusion

If I were to do this again I would make sure I did all of the experiment on one day. I would do this because I may not have gotten the same wire and ruler as I used for the experiment the day before. This would be a problem because one wire may be more bent or curly causing the wire to be longer than is seams. This would make my data more reliable and be more accurate. I think for the purpose of my experiment that I did enough trials and can be sure that my information is correct. However if I were studying for important information at a University level or even a college level then a lot more than five trials would be needed to obtain sufficient evidence. I could have tried my experiment on different days to insure unusual circumstances that I have no control over didn't effect my results. Another way in which I could go about investigating how variables effect the resistance of a wire is to change the diameter or temperature of the wire while applying an electric current. As you change the diameter the resistance would increase with the thinner the wire becomes because there would be less room for the current to flow through. As the wire becomes hotter I think the resistance would also increase because the particles in the wire heat up and move around making it hard for the current to move through. ...read more.

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