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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Science
  • Essay length: 1789 words

Investigating (one of) the factors that affect resistance.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Investigating (one of) the factors that affect resistance Resistance is the property of an electrical conductor, to work against the flow of the current and change some of the electrical energy into heat. According to Ohm's law the quantity of resistance in an electric circuit determines the amount of current flowing in the circuit for any given voltage applied to the circuit. The standard abbreviation for electric resistance is R and the symbol for ohms in electric circuits is the Greek letter omega, ?. For certain electrical calculations, it is convenient to employ the reciprocal of resistance, 1/R, which is termed conductance, G. The unit of conductance is the mho (ohm spelled backwards) and the symbol is an inverted omega, W. To find resistance we use the equation Resistance = Voltage / Current is used. The resistance of an object is determined by a property of the substance of which it is made of, known as the resistivity and by the length and cross-sectional area of the object. Also other variables such as the temperature can determine the resistance. Usually, a material's resistance increases with the rise in temperature as the voltage going across the wire has to avoid the resistor's atoms more. This produces more energy causing plenty of heat.

Middle

Finally I predict that the 60cm wire will have a resistance that is greater than that of the 40cm of 50cm wire, yet will have a smaller resistance than the 80cm or the 100cm wire. Fair test To make this a fair test I am only going to change one variable; the length of the wire. And we will not change any other factors. Also when I repeat the experiment I will always use the same equipment, just in case the different equipment proves faulty etc. By using a brand new piece of wire in the experiment I will be making it more of a fair test. I will repeat the experiment three times in order to obtain a fair average from our experiment. Equipment For the experiment we will use; 1 Power Pack- I chose this instead of a battery because we needed to keep the voltage the same at all times 1 Voltmeter- I chose this because we needed to accurately measure the voltage in order to obtain the resistance. 1 Ammeter- I chose this because we needed to accurately measure the amps in order to obtain the resistance. 5 Connection leads- I chose these because they were the easiest way to connect the circuit.

Conclusion

If we were to repeat our experiment again we could use a more precise voltmeter/ammeter such as a digital one, this would give us a more precise graph. But because we used a non-digital piece of apparatus we found it harder to obtain accurate results; mainly due to having rounded to two significant figures only. Also having the first result at 1.2 amps we were not able to set the scale to 1amps. Instead we had to set the ammeter to a less accurate scale of 5amps. However our experimental results are good enough to support our prediction and conclusion as they follow the line of best fit. However to improve our experiment we could use a digital ammeter/ voltmeter in order to obtain better results. Also we could extend the length of wire used to two metres to include more constant results. Further experiments I could do related to the resistance in a wire would be to see whether the following variables would make a difference in the resistance of a wire: The width: I think that the resistance would be decrease as the wire got wider, because there would be more room for the electrons to move through the wire. Material: if I was to use different wires then the resistance would change depending on how many atoms were in the wire. Caroline Morris Physics Coursework

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