• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Investigate the factors that affects the resistance of a wire.

Extracts from this document...


Nkechi Wagbaranta

Investigation of the factors affecting the Resistance of a wire

Aim:To investigate the factors that affects the resistance of a wire.  

The variables are – The length of wire              

                             Type of wire

                             Diameter and thickness

Plan:  In the course of preliminary experiment and research, I have found out that the resistance of a wire can be affected by the following factors

  • Diameter of wire – The resistance of a wire increases as its diameter increases.

      This happens because the increase in diameter brings about more space for the           electrons to flow through and a greater chance of collisions as the electrons flow.

  • Length of wire - A wire with a longer length would have to travel a longer distance, therefore the resistance would be greater because there would be an increase in the amount of collisions of the electrons and atoms causing the flowing electrons to slow down.
  • Thickness of the wire – Thick wires have high density.  A wire with a high density would have a high resistance.  This would happen because the flow of electrons would be slowed down since a wire with a high density has more atoms in a smaller space in addition to fewer gaps for the electrons to flow through.
  • Temperature – An increase in temperature would cause the metal ions in the wire will vibrate more bringing about more chance on an electron colliding with a metal ion and therefore increase in resistance.
  • Material of wire – Some wires how lots of atoms while other wires have few atoms.  A wire with many atoms would have a low resistance because it because it has a high area for the electron to pass through there for there would be less chance of electrons colliding with the nucleus and the flow of electrons being slowed down.
...read more.


The nicrome wire is a conductor because like other metals, it has free electrons, which carry negative charge by jumping alongside the atoms that are arranged as a lattice structure in the wire.

         Thus if the length of the nicrome wire were increased the distance that the electrons would have to travel as well as the collision would be greater since the electrons would have to jump along more atoms while they flow to the positive cell of the circuit therefore causing the resistance to increase due to the boost of friction and slowdown caused by the collision between the electrons and atoms.


Power Pack – (2.2V DC) For power supply

Voltmeter – To measure the voltage in the circuit

Ammeter – To measure the current of the circuit

A nicrome wire of length more than 50 cm

Six wires with crocodile clips – To complete the circuit

Micrometer – To record the diameter of the wire

Wheat stone bridge – To measure and connect the wire

Variable resistor – To allow me change voltage if I need to


  1. Firstly I measured different parts of the wire using a micrometer.  Then I recorded the different diameters that I got and calculated the average diameter, which was 0.56mm.
  2. Then I positioned my nicrome wire on the wheat stone bridge.
...read more.


                 I think that repeating my experiment more times.  Doing this would have given me a wider range of readings, which would have made my average more accurate.  

               If I could repeat this experiment I would try and correct all of the above circumstances, which made my some of my results strange.  I would also use a very much longer length of wire because I would like to see if the resistance of a wire would increase dramatically with a longer length of wire.

I would also like to change my dependent variable to the type of wire in order to see how it would affect the resistance of the wire.  Expect that the resistance would differ according to the type of wire depending on the number of atoms the wire has and how good a conductor the wire is.

 I think a think a thicker type of wire would have more resistance than a thinner one because a thicker wire would have more atoms and therefore more neutrons to collide with the electrons consequently obstruct  and slow down the free flow of electrons.

Resistance and wires coursework

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Electricity and Magnetism section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Electricity and Magnetism essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The factors affecting the resistance of a metalic conductor.

    4 star(s)

    As well as explaining how, as the cross sectional area of the wire increases, the resistance decreases, as seen in graph II. I have also plotted a graph to the effect on the resistance of the wire when a specific type of circuit is being used.

  2. Resistance of a Wire Investigation

    This variable can be fixed by adding a fixed amount of sodium hydrogen carbonate to the beaker and plant. The experiment should also be completed in one session and under two hours so the plant does not use up a significant percentage of the CO2.

  1. Discover the factors affecting resistance in a conductor.

    As mentioned, when the voltmeter/ammeter method is being used, a power-pack will be needed, keeping the power levels constant. My results showed that when the length increased, the resistance increased to show that they are directly proportional. I hope to see a very similar trend of results when I perform

  2. Investigate how mass affects the diameter of an impact crater.

    This is demonstrated as a line graph. Refer to graph 1. I have added a curve of best fit. This shows that the average crater size tends to increase as the height is made higher, which proves that height has a form of influence to the crater size.

  1. Resistance and Wires

    All of these precautions were taken in order to maximize the reliability and accuracy of the recorded data and to reduce the chance of any outliers (anomalous readings). The safety of the experiment was purposefully kept to a maximum. The power packs had a block on them to prevent a voltage higher than 10v.

  2. Investigating how the length of a Wire affects its resistance.

    Voltage (Repeat 2) (in Volts) Voltage (Repeat 3) (in Volts) 10 0.11 0.10 0.11 20 0.19 0.18 0.18 30 0.25 0.26 0.26 40 0.34 0.25 (0.34) 0.33 50 0.41 0.43 0.42 60 0.51 0.5 0.50 70 0.58 0.58 0.60 80 0.65 0.65 0.65 90 0.73 0.74 0.73 100 0.82 0.91 0.83 Length of Wire (cm) Resistance (Repeat 1)

  1. The aim of this investigation is to investigate the factors affecting the resistance of ...

    The resistance of a resistor is the voltage per unit of current. However, thermistors do not obey the Ohm's law. This is because their temperature starts to increase at a certain temperature. So, a material may or may not obey the Ohm's law.

  2. To investigate how the length (mm) and the cross-sectional (mm2) area of a wire ...

    This means that as the electrons in the circuit flow around, there are more collisions with atoms in the wire resulting in a greater loss of electrical energy than with a shorter wire. This gives the wire its property of resistance.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work