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Investigate 2 Factors Which Affect the Resistance of a Wire

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Introduction

GCSE COURSEWORK

Investigate 2 Factors Which

Affect the Resistance of a Wire

Task:

To find out if the length of wire or the thickness of the wire affects the resistance.

Method:

To try and find out what affect the above variables have on the resistance of a wire I will conduct two experiments. They will both use this layout:

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                                           Wire          

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In the first experiment we will test if the length of wire affects the resistance. To do this we will use 6 different pieces of wire of varying lengths between 5 and 30 centimeters. We will put each piece of wire into the circuit one at a time. We will then find the voltage. Voltage (or Potential Difference) is the difference in the electrical potential of two points, being equal to the electrical energy converted by a unit electric charge moving from one point to another. The SI unit of voltage is the volt (V). We will then measure the current. The current is the flow of electrically charged particles through a conducting circuit due to the presence of a voltage.

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Middle

Apparatus:

Power pack, ammeter, voltmeter, 12 pieces of wire (varying lengths and thickness), proper wires and crocodile clips.

Fair test:

The same power pack, circuit layout, ammeter, voltmeter and wire material will not be changed. There are some things beyond our control (humidity, temperature), which could affect our results. The wire will be the only variable- in the first test it will be the length; in the second it will be the thickness.

Prediction:

I think that the length of the wire will affect the resistance. I think that the resistance will be increased if the wire is longer. This is because the electricity will be slowed down for a longer time, so the current should drop.

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The thickness of the wire will definitely affect resistance. The thicker the wire the lower the resistance will be. This is because the electrons will have more room to move and flow, and more can flow through the wire.

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Conclusion:

My results show that both the length and thickness of a wire have an affect on its resistance.

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Conclusion

The wires contained slight bends and twists, which would have affected an accurate reading of the length, and possible (but unlikely) the resistance itself.Obviously human error will have had some affect on our results. Even if I’m perfect, the rest of my group isn’t! The length of the wire may have millimeters out, the readings off of the voltmeter and the ammeter may have been slightly inaccurate, and possible even the calculations for working out the resistance.

I do not think that our results are void. I think this because the results we got were still fairly accurate (with the odd exception), and our predictions were correct. I feel they may have been more accurate if the experiment had been carried out over one day, as the temperature may have changed slightly, and the humidity. Apart from that I do not know how else we could have conducted that experiment better. The other problems that I stated above we could do nothing about, which is why I feel that our results are still valid.

Thmas Parr 1G1

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