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

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Introduction

Danny EmersonGCSE Science Coursework

Resistance of a Wire

Aim: To investigate how the electrical resistance of a wire changes in relationship to its length.

Equipment,

In this experiment I used a wide range of reliable equipment to gain accurate results these are:

  • Nichrome Wire – I used this type of wire in my experiment because it has a big resistance compared to other metals. This wire was secured on top of a metre stick so that the resistance could be measured accurately and with a reasonable distance between each measurement.
  • Power- Pack – This gives the current to the wire which is connected to the circuit.
  • Amp- Meter – This device reads the amount of amps which is emitted from the circuit.
  • Wire Cutters – These will be used carefully and accurately in order to measure and cut the wire according to the size of the metre stick.
  • Voltmeter – This reads the amount of volts at a specific point in the series circuit.
  • Crocodile Clips – These will be used to connect the Power pack to allow a specific current to pass through the wire.

How my experiment looked: Diagram

Prediction,

Using previous scientific knowledge, I believe that as the length of the wire increases so will the resistance of the wire also. I also think that the rate at which the resistance increases will be determined by the length of the wire.  Resistance is the property that changes electrical energy into heat energy.

...read more.

Middle

2.70

90

4.5

1.47

3.06

100

4.5

1.33

3.38

Experiment (b),

Length

Voltage

Current

Resistance

10

4.5

6.59

0.68

20

4.5

4.99

0.90

30

4.5

3.54

1.27

40

4.5

2.49

1.81

50

4.5

2.46

1.83

60

4.5

2.09

2.15

70

4.5

1.80

2.5

80

4.5

1.66

2.71

90

4.5

1.60

2.81

100

4.5

1.11

4.05

Experiment (c),

Length

Voltage

Current

Resistance

10

4.5

7.02

0.64

20

4.5

5.36

0.84

30

4.5

3.85

1.17

40

4.5

2.55

1.76

50

4.5

2.42

1.86

60

4.5

2.22

2.03

70

4.5

1.76

2.56

80

4.5

1.58

2.85

90

4.5

1.46

3.08

100

4.5

1.21

3.72

Averages of all 3 Experiments    =      (a)

...read more.

Conclusion

          Most errors in our experiment were most likely encountered in the measuring of the wire. This is because it becomes difficult to place the crocodile clips exactly on the point on the metre stick. The wire was also raised off of the surface of the stick so this could have meant that the measurements may have been read incorrectly. Also I do not feel that the crocodile clips were always fixed tightly to the wire with a solid connection. This also meant that they could easily move about on the wire and so changing the length of it. Little to no mistakes/errors occurred whilst doing the setting of the current and the reading of the voltage. It was just in the preparation that the errors occurred. Another example of this is the wire was never completely straight when I started the experiment, which can also, affect the resistance of it.

       I do not think that doing any more results in our experiment would have made it any more accurate. I do, however, think that another method is the only way to improve the practicality and accuracy of the experiment, perhaps if I had used a solid bar that was unable to bend instead of the wire.

...read more.

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