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Investigate the factors that affects the resistance of a wire.

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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.
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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.
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                 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

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