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Investigate the factors which affect the resistance of a wire.

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Physics GCSE Coursework

Aim: To investigate the factors which affect the resistance of a wire.


I think that the resistance of a wire will depend on the following factors:

  1. Thickness of a Wire (Cross-Sectional area)
  2. Length of a wire
  3. Material of a wire

I am going to investigate factor two; the length of a wire


I am going to investigate whether the length of a wire will affect the resistance of a wire. I predict that as the lengths of the wire increases so will the resistance of the wire, I also predict that as I increase the length of the wire then the current we decrease.

I predict that, as the length doubles, the resistance will double and the current will half.

I predict that, as the length triples, the resistance will triple and the current will become a third.

E.g.) the resistance is directly proportional to the length and the current is inversely proportional to the length (or resistance)  

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Preliminary Work

I have done preliminary work to see if the apparatus and the way I did the experiment worked. It will also enable me to make changes so make it a better and more accurate investigation. I will also be able to compare my results with my actual experiment results.






  • First I will collect all the equipment and set up the circuit. Like the diagram above.
  • I will then collect a meter ruler so that I can measure lengths of wire easily.
  • Then I will record results at 20cm, 40cm, 60cm, 80cm and 100cm.

Fair Test

To ensure that the investigation is carried out in a fair way and that the results will be accurate and reliable a number of things must be followed. The only variable in the test will be the length of the wire.

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My results are quite reliable because I made 3 measurements of current and voltage for each length and used the average values to calculate Resistance. Even with that I still had two anomalous results at lengths 70cm and 80cm.

The experiment I did was successful but I did have some difficulties doing it. If I could redo the experiment I would:

  • Make sure that the wire is always taut. If the wire isn’t taut the lengths I measure could be inaccurate and my results wouldn’t be reliable.
  • I would make sure that when I used crocodile clips they didn’t scrape the wire because this may affect the thickness of the wire and it would make my results unreliable.
  • Make sure that the batteries I use are not old or different as they may have different voltages from each other. This would again make my results unreliable and inaccurate.

...read more.

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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