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Investigate the resistance of a wire

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Introduction

To investigate the resistance of a wire

Planning section

During this experiment, I shall begin with a preliminary investigation in order to aid my final practical to be as accurate as humanely possible.

Preliminary experiment

Apparatus

In this investigation I shall need:

  • A piece of constantan wire, longer than 100 cm
  • Two ammeters, both analogue and digital
  • Two voltmeters, both analogue and digital
  • A power pack
  • A 100 cm ruler

Diagram

image00.png

Method

The apparatus was set up as shown in the diagram. Although in this investigation’s preliminary experiment I shall not be taking results, I shall be entertaining the ideas of ways to improve the experiment. I shall set up the circuit as shown in the diagram, and I shall be investigating:

1 – If Analogue or digital meters are better

2 – Which voltage to use

3 – Which lengths to collect results from

Evaluation

During this experiment, as afore mentioned in the method, I explored what was the best possible way of conducting the final experiment? I have included in this section which methods of experimentation I shall be using in the final practical;

Digital or analogue

The reason that during the practical investigation I used both digital and analogue meters was to establish which of the two would be best suited to my particular investigations. During the practical I observed several key problems and several benefits of both. Analogue meters

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Middle

0.45

1.74

3.86

70

0.48

1.69

3.52

60

0.56

1.65

2.95

50

0.61

1.50

2.46

40

0.73

1.46

2.00

30

0.92

1.36

1.48

20

1.22

1.19

0.98

Graph

2 volts, second set

Length of wire, cm

Current, A

Voltage, V

Resistance, Ω

100

0.37

1.85

0.20

90

0.41

1.81

0.23

80

0.45

1.77

0.25

70

0.50

1.72

0.29

60

0.60

1.74

0.34

50

0.66

1.63

0.40

40

0.78

1.52

0.51

30

0.94

1.38

0.68

20

1.27

1.25

1.02

Graph

4 volts, first set

Length of wire, cm

Current, A

Voltage, V

Resistance, Ω

100

0.78

3.80

0.21

90

0.85

3.72

0.23

80

0.94

3.65

0.26

70

1.05

3.57

0.29

60

1.18

3.45

0.34

50

1.36

3.33

0.41

40

1.60

3.17

0.50

30

1.89

2.76

0.68

20

2.75

2.62

1.05

Graph

4

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Conclusion

Reliability

 I believe that my results are viable for a GCSE standard piece of coursework although a research physician would discard them. I believe that collecting answers to two decimal places is also accurate enough for this experiment and that the slight variations of resistance between repeats is so small that the results could be deemed ‘accurate’.

Constant factors

In this investigation I have strived to make sure that the following factors remained constant:

  • Cross sectional area
  • Temperature of wire
  • Type of wire

In this investigation, the cross sectional area or CSA would be maintained throughout readings, as the wire was not swapped during the experiments. This reason also dictates that the type of wire is also a factor that was kept constant. As I have mentioned before the temperature of the wire would have varied throughout the experiment, and as I have mentioned in the preliminary section of this investigation that with voltages higher than 8v the wire began to burn. This deviation in the temperature may have been the deciding factor as to why my readings for resistance were only slightly different.

...read more.

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