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Investigate how the resistance of a piece of eureka wire is affected by the wire's length.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Aim

The aim of this investigation is to investigate how the resistance of a piece of eureka wire is affected by the wire’s length.

Background knowledge

What is resistance?

Electricity is conducted through a conductor, in this case wire, by means of free electrons. The number of free electrons depends on the material and the more free electrons there is means the better a conductor the material will be, i.e. it has less resistance. For example, gold has more free electrons than iron and, as a result, it is a better conductor. The free electrons are given energy and as a result move and collide with neighbouring free electrons passing along there. This happens across the length of the wire and thus electricity is conducted. Resistance is the result of energy loss as heat. It involves collisions between the free electrons and the fixed particles of the metal, other free electrons and impurities. These collisions convert some of the energy that the free electrons are carrying into heat. Also the heat of the material can affect its resistance as hot conductors atoms vibrate more as they have more energy this decreases the amount of room there is for the free electrons to pass through.

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Middle

2 Meter rulers

2 Meter strip of eureka wire

Diagram

Safety

Safety is vital to this experiment as it can be very dangerous especially when dealing with hot wires and electricity, so it’s important that these rules are remembered.

In order to perform a safe experiment, keep the lab pack at a low voltage of 2V, so that overheating was minimised and also decrease the chance of short-circuiting the lab pack or the multimeters.

Always remember that when dealing with electricity to be careful not to apply water as this could also short circuit components.

Also remember that if you are moving the crocodile clips on the eureka wire or adjusting the multimeters then the lab pack will have to be turned off again to stop short-circuiting.

Method

The apparatus was collected and put together as listed below:

Two metre length of “eureka wire” (a metal alloy) wire was fixed to a 2 connected metre rulers. Next the lab pack was turned down to 2 volts an the 2 wires were inserted the positive wire was then connected to the 10ADC terminal in the ammeter which was set to 200mA then another wire was connected from the common terminal to the first crocodile clip which was

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Conclusion

The final point of error within the experiment is the multimeters. The multimeters are not accurate enough themselves as when both the voltage and current were recorded the last decimal place on the multimeters flickered up & down and continually varied a few decimal places this made it incredible difficult to know which was the correct result & if the wrong one were recorded the results would be incorrect. So I would suggest that a more accurate type of multimeters should be used or a setting with a greater degree of accuracy this would insure the results to be correct.

Despite these anomalous factors, my results still enabled me to find the relationship between length & resistance of a piece of eureka wire, also the results I obtained supported my predictions & were even accurate enough to support my conclusion. I think that if these three points were improved upon then the results would be a lot more reliable and would give a better understanding of the relationship between the length and resistance of a piece of eureka wire.  

...read more.

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