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Investigating factors which affect resistance in a conducting wire.

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Investigating factors which affect resistance in a conducting wire

The following experiment is to see what factors in circuits can affect the Resistance in a wire.

Resistance is what slows down electron particles and in this particular experiment it’s the current. There is specialist equipment that can do this and we are lucky enough to have this. Resistance happens mainly from the electrons moving in a negative direction, they then collide with the fixed particles (metal wire) and this slows them down from an easy flow through. You just have to look at it like it was a crowd of people standing still and others are trying to get through but are stopped and helped held up by the crowd. It reduces the current therefore increases the resistance. Kinetic energy also takes place within the wire + current. The kinetic energy, from the moving particles, transforms in to heat and this causes the heating effect. The energy is being given off by the particles is being converted to heat energy.

There are two main factors that effect resistance they are:

  1. Length
  2. Diameter (surface area)

Length increases resistance.

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Length of Wire

(In m)

Potential Difference

(In V)


(In A)

























Analysis of Preliminary

What it is visible from the table and graph is that generally the greater the Potential difference and Current the greater the resistance

My input variable for the actual experiment will be Diameter. I chose this for the same reason as for my preliminary work; because I have predicted at the beginning that increasing diameter decreases resistance. My other variables are length, temperature and type of metal. I will keep the temperature the same by checking that the temperature of the room stays at room temperature constantly. For length and type of metal I will measure the same length each time (1m) and make sure the label on the wire says Manganin wire. I am important that the wires do not accidentally change because different wires have different levels of conductivity. Also changing the temperature will increase the energy in the particles creating the heating effect.

...read more.


I think that if the diameter were to keep increasing the graph would show that there is nearly 0 resistance. Although the curve is flattening towards the end of the graph I think it will travel right through to almost 0 resistance. To develop this thought/prediction my ranges in the investigation would have to increase by much more. The experiment just completed gave me curiosity over whether temperature would affect resistance. I think it would and the particle theory of temperature (giving the particles energy) may make a difference.


...read more.

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