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

Investigating How the Cross-Sectional Area of a Conductor Affects the Resistance of Current Passing Through it

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Investigating How the Cross-Sectional Area of a Conductor Affects the Resistance of Current Passing Through it

Aim:

I will investigate how the cross sectional area of a conductor which in this case will be a length of nichrome wire will affect its resistance.

Prediction:

I predict that as the cross sectional area of the nichrome wire increases the resistance will decrease. I know that on an atomic level the more free electrons there are in a substance the less resistance there will be. This is because there will be more free electrons that are able to travel through the substance.

Background Knowledge:

A circuit is a flow of electrons flowing from negative to positive. The electric current flowing through a circuit is measured in amperes. This flow of electrons is pushed around a circuit by an electrical pressure called electromotive force or e.m.f. Across any resistor such a lamp or wire there is an electrical pressure difference called potential difference of voltage. It is measured in volts.

        Resistance is the term given to resistance of the flow of electrons in a circuit. A lamp in a circuit applies a level of resistance to the current in a circuit as does the wire. Resistance is affected by four factors.

...read more.

Middle

Variable rheostat                                                                x 1

Results 1:

WireCurrent: ampsVoltage: voltsResistance: ohms

Yellow                        0.50                        1.39                        2.78

Green                        0.50                        3.38                        6.76

Blue                        0.50                        4.84                        9.68

Red                        0.50                        6.68                        13.36                

White                        0.50                        9.06                        18.12

Orange                        0.44                        11.15                        22.30

Results 2:

WireCurrent: ampsVoltage: voltsResistance: ohms

Yellow                        0.66                        1.28                        1.94    

Green                        0.94                        6.08                        6.47

Blue                        0.75                        7.34                        9.79

Red                        0.67                        8.76                        13.07                

White                        0.51                        9.40                        18.43

Orange                        0.40                        9.98                        24.95

...read more.

Conclusion

        My results for both experiments were quite close which proves that my experiments were fair. I complied with all the regulations I set for this experiment which would make the experiments fair under ideal circumstances. The results that I produced are reliable and I believe them to be easily reproduced.

        I did notice that the wire SWG 34 produced anomalous results. I believe this to be down to its small surface area which makes it quite fragile. This makes them easily damageable which affects the surface area. If I were to repeat the experiment I would perhaps exclude wires with including or smaller that SWG 34. I believe that the variables used in this experiment produced reliable results and I would use the same variables if I were to attempt this experiment again.

        If I were to extend this experiment I would perhaps experiment on how other factors influence resistance such as temperature or length. If I were to extend this experiment using the same variables I would test out more types of wire with different SWG values and wires made of different materials such as copper. If I had more time to carry out the experiment I would use a wider range of wires and would vary the current passed through the resistor.  

...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)

    * I must keep the surrounding room temperature the same or the particles in the wire will move faster (if the temperature is increased) and this will therefore have an effect on the resistance. * I must avoid parallax error by looking straight down at the reading on the ruler and not form below the ruler or form its side.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Resistance Aim: my main aim is to investigate the factors that affect the resistance ...

    3 star(s)

    With this previous information of this material it will help making an accurate hypothesis and it should also be clear when problems occur. Wires of different lengths will have to be tested to prove that resistance is in proportion to length.

  1. Discover the factors affecting resistance in a conductor.

    I also need to consider appropriate equipment and observe measurements that can be concluded in "Measurements and Observations." A simple circuit needed to be created, and there were not very many options within that circuit, as this was an essential way of collecting appropriate data.

  2. How the Resistance of a Wire is affected by Cross-Sectional Area

    This causes less resistance and less power is lost. Aim In this experiment I am going to be investigating what effect changing the cross-sectional area has on the resistance of a wire.

  1. Resistance and Wires

    This graph simply shows the resistance of an area of wire when it is 10cm long. Therefore the change in resistance of different areas shown on the graph is due to the change of diameter because the diameter is the only factor that changes throughout this data manipulation.

  2. How does the length and cross-sectional area of a wire affect resistance

    When the cross-sectional area of a wire is increased then the resistance will halve because the electrons have more space to move freely and less collisions will occur. The width in figure 3 is double the width in figure 1 resulting in half the number of collisions and a predicted halve of resistance.

  1. My aim is to find out how different cross sectional areas of a wire ...

    It is the cross-sectional area of the wire, not its thickness, which directly affects its resistance. The cross-sectional area is what you get if you cut straight through the wire, at right angles to its length, and look at

  2. Investigate how the cross-sectional area of a piece of wire affects its resistance.

    This would cause our results to turn out inaccurate, and our experiment would not be a fair test. To solve this problem, we will increase the length of the wire to 1.0m, but to ensure the experiment was completely fair we will add a switch into our circuit, to make sure the wire will stay cool.

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