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# Investigate how the resistance of a wire is affected by the length of the wire.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Science Investigation

Resistance of a wire coursework

 P O A E spg

## Name

Ridwan Ibrahim

Form

Coleman

Teacher

Br. Ronald

Set

### 10 ACF Set 1

Aim:

To investigate how the resistance of a wire is affected by the length of the wire.

## Theory

Introduction

Electricity travels through a conductor by means of free electrons. The conductor in this investigation is a nickel wire. The number of free electrons depends on the material of the conductor. The more free electrons there are, the better the conductor due to less resistance. For example, silver has more free electrons than iron; therefore it is a better conductor. The free electrons are given energy and this makes them move and collide with other free electrons. 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. These collisions convert some of the energy that the free electrons are carrying into heat.

The resistance of a length of wire is calculated by measuring the current in the circuit (in series) and the voltage across the wire (in parallel). The measurements are then substituted into the following formula:

V = I * R                (V = Voltage, I

Middle

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

10

0.46

0.63

0.77

0.30

0.40

0.50

1.53

1.58

1.54

1.55

20

0.93

1.23

1.54

0.30

0.40

0.50

3.10

3.08

3.08

3.09

30

1.36

1.86

2.36

0.30

0.40

0.50

4.53

4.65

4.72

4.63

40

1.82

2.50

2.96

0.30

0.40

0.50

6.07

6.25

5.92

6.08

50

3.50

2.63

1.92

0.47

0.35

0.26

7.45

7.51

7.38

7.45

60

3.45

2.66

1.98

0.37

0.29

0.23

9.32

9.17

8.61

9.04

70

3.12

2.64

2.12

0.30

0.24

0.20

10.40

11.00

10.60

10.67

80

2.37

2.68

3.60

0.19

0.22

0.29

12.47

12.18

12.41

12.36

90

2.22

2.11

3.45

0.15

0.18

0.25

14.80

11.72

13.80

13.44

100

2.09

2.66

3.44

0.14

0.17

0.22

14.93

15.65

15.64

15.40

Compared to other results

In order to prove that my results are reasonably accurate, another results table is shown derived from another person who undertook the same investigation in the same environment.

 Length (cm) Potential Difference (v) Current (I) Resistance (ohms) V1

Conclusion

Actual resistance for particular length (ohms)

Percentage error (to two decimal places)        %

10

1.55

1.53

1.31

20

3.09

3.06

0.98

30

4.63

4.59

0.87

40

6.08

6.12

0.65

50

7.45

7.65

2.61

60

9.04

9.18

1.53

70

10.67

10.71

0.37

80

12.36

12.24

0.98

90

13.44

13.77

2.40

100

15.40

15.30

0.65

Evaluation

I believe that the investigation was moderately accurate. My evidence to support this is my average percentage error which is 1.24%. This error may have occurred due to a number of reasons. Firstly, it is impossible to keep the temperature constant throughout the whole experiment in a classroom laboratory. So due to heating of different appliances, the temperature may have altered to cause the percentage error. Furthermore, to connect the wires we used crocodile clips. We may have made a human error whilst connecting the crocodile clips to the wire as we cannot be precise in measurements using only the naked eye.

In order to improve my investigation in the future I will use clean crocodile clips and try to be more precise when connecting them to the wire so my measurements are more accurate. Also I will try to use more means in order to keep the temperature constant. To make my investigation even more accurate I will repeat it many times and compare it with other results from people who did the same investigation. Furthermore, I would use a conductor that is stiff so that is does not bend and alter the length when measured on the ruler.

Ridwan Ibrahim, Physics Coursework, Br Ronald

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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