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I hope to find out how resistance of a wire is affected.

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Resistance Investigation

I am going to investigate the factors that affect the resistance of a conducting wire.


From the graph, you can see that as the length of the wire increases, the resistance increases.  Due to some results which didn’t fit in, I had to draw a line of best fit.  In my hypothesis, I predicted that the effect of changing the wire length will be that as the length increases, the resistance on the wire will increase.  This, following my results, is true.  I did though take the results twice and then find an average between the two.  This ensured accuracy encase there was one false result.


On the whole,

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I chose this method of setting up my circuit because it is standard and also it is the simplest and easiest to set up.  I set up my circuit so it would be easier when changing the wire.  In this way, I can use the same circuit for each wire.  This also ensures accuracy.

Sources of error

Due to experimental errors reading voltmeters and ammeters, and measuring the wires, my results may not be 100% reliable.  Below I will work out a percentage into how far from the line of best fit my errors were.

  1. On the manganin wire, at 70cm long, the resistance suddenly dropped.  This point was 0.7Ω out from the line of best fit.
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  • Record more results for different lengths on each wire.
  • Stretch the wire completely, free of kinks and sellotape it at more frequent intervals so it is kept straight.

To extend this investigation, I would investigate my other prediction:

The bigger the area of the wire (thickness), the lower the resistance.

In doing this, I could keep the same circuit as I already have but change the area (thickness) of the three wires.  I would use the same length for each wire and I would record the results from three different thicknesses for each of the three wires.  These would be at 24, 26, 28 and 30.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Electricity and Magnetism section.

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