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Investigate how the electrical resistance of a wire changes in relation to its length.

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Introduction

 Physics        Matt Davies        4/30/2007

Aim:

To investigate how the electrical resistance of a wire changes in relation to its length.

Variables:

The variable that I decided to vary is the length of the wire that the current is recorded from. The shorter the wire the higher the current will be, because the electrons in the wire will be closer together and will collide more often, causing a higher resistance. I will measure the current at different distances along the piece of 0.56mm thick Nichrome wire, by placing the ammeter at the different lengths alone the wire. Other variables that I could vary are the thickness of the wire, this could affect the experiment as the thicker the wire less electrons will collide with fixed particles, resulting in a lower resistance. Increasing the temperature that the experiment is conducted under would cause the

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Middle

30

1.0

0.35

2.86

40

1.0

0.25

4.0

50

1.0

0.20

5.0

60

1.0

0.16

6.25

70

1.0

0.13

7.69

80

1.0

0.12

8.33

90

1.0

0.12

8.33

100

1.0

0.10

10.0

2nd Attempt

Length

(cm)

Voltage

(v)

Current

(A)

Resistance

(Ω)

10

1.0

0.93

1.08

20

1.0

0.49

2.04

30

1.0

0.32

3.13

40

1.0

0.24

4.17

50

1.0

0.23

4.35

60

1.0

0.20

5.0

70

1.0

0.19

5.26

80

1.0

0.15

6.67

90

1.0

0.12

8.33

100

1.0

0.09

1.11

Average

Length

(cm)

Voltage

(v)

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Conclusion

10

1.0

1.04

20

1.0

2.08

30

1.0

3.12

40

1.0

4.16

50

1.0

5.17

60

1.0

6.24

70

1.0

7.28

80

1.0

8.32

90

1.0

9.36

100

1.0

10.4

Evaluation:

Overall, I feel that my results turned out how I would have expected. My results were all accurately shown on my graph as it clearly shows a steady increase in resistance as the length of the wire also increases. This is also proved by comparing my actual results to the theoretical resistance calculated before the experiment, as they are very similar and both rise constantly. A way I could improve the experiment and the results I collected could be to take readings every 5cm instead of every 10cm, this would give me a wider range of results, making it easier to spot any anomalies in the experiment. I could also check that the wire is the same diameter all the way along and that the wire is as tight as possible to ensure that the lengths used are correct. I could also control the temperature that the wire is being tested under, so the wire does not over heat and is always at the same temperature.

Physics        Matt Davies        Coursework

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