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How well do different samples of Constantan wire conduct electricity?

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Introduction

Vivek Nambiar

How well do different samples of Constantan wire conduct electricity?

Planning

Aim:

  • To investigate how different samples of Constantan wire conduct electricity.

Variables:

  • Thickness of wire
  • Length of wire
  • Voltage
  • Current
  • Temperature
  • Resistance

Chosen Variable:

  • Length

Prediction:

  • As the length of the Constantan wire increases the resistance of the wire will proportionally increase.
  • This is because as the length of the wire increases, the electrons flowing through the wire have a further distance to travel.
  • Because of this the electrons have more chance of colliding with the atoms of the Constantan wire.
  • Therefore as the length of the wire increases there will be a greater number of collisions between the electrons and atoms of the wire, which leads to a larger amount of resistance, being generated.
  • Furthermore, if the length of the wire doubles, the resistance should also double because there is twice the amount of atoms in the wire, which results in twice the number of collisions.

Justification:

  • From Explaining Physics:

...read more.

Middle

Attach both ends of the first length to the circuit using crocodile clips.Switch on the PSU.Take readings from the ammeter and voltmeter after the display reading has settled.Switch off PSU and replace length of Constantan with a different length.Then repeat the procedure outlined above for the rest of the lengths.Repeat the whole experiment a further 3 times and take an average reading for each length of Constantan wire.

Safety:

  • Constantan wire will become very hot if left connected to the circuit for longer then necessary.
  • Make sure that all the wires are connected securely into the correct terminals and that there us no bare wire (except the length of Constantan).

Constants:

  • Ammeter
  • Voltmeter
  • PSU
  • Thickness of Constantan (0.3mm)
  • Voltage

Analysis

  • From my results for the original experiment and the three repeats I calculated the resistance for each length in each experiment by using the formula:

Resistance  =   Voltage

   Current

  • I then took an average voltage, current and resistance for each length.
  • Using these average results I plotted a graph and upon it, drew a line of best fit.
...read more.

Conclusion

But this however should not produce any major anomalies, which it did not.The reason for the slight variation in results between experiments may be down to the different voltmeters, ammeters, leads and power supply units used.I believe that the evidence I obtained during this investigation is sufficiently strong and reliable enough, to support my conclusions stated earlier.I believe that this procedure was excellent and produces very accurate results.
  • To simply further the experiment you could use a greater variety of lengths of wire confirming the conclusions made.
  • To further the experiment more so, I would compare how the length of wires made from different materials effects the resistance using the same experiment as this one. Materials such as copper, nickel and brass could be used.
  • You could also measure thickness of wire instead of length, or how the temperature of the wire effects the resistance.

...read more.

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