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Investigating the Resistance of a Wire.

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Introduction

Physics - Investigating the Resistance of a Wire

Aim

In this investigation I will study how the electrical resistance of three different types of wire changes in relationship to it’s length.

Scientific Background Information

With electricity, the property that transforms electriacal energy into heat energy, in opposing electrical current, is called resistance. Resistance is measured in Ohms. Ohm’s Law states that resistance is equal to the electomotive force or potential difference, in volts (V) divided by the current, in amperes (I). Resistance is a measure of how hard it

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Middle

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Prediction

For this experiment, I predict that as the length of the wire increases, so will the resistance of the wire. I predict this because as electricity tries to push through the wire, the atoms will collide with the fixed atoms in the wire, so as the length gets longer; the resistance will get higher. Besides this, I also predict that as I change the different type wire, the resistance will also change. I will not know which wire will have what resistance, but I will know that the resistance will change because all metals have a different resistance to one another.  

Apparatus  

During the experiment I have used lots of apparatus. I have made a list as follows:

  • Two different types of wires (Nichrome and Constantan)
  • Power supply
  • Six connecting wires
  • Two crocodile clips
  • Voltmeter
  • Ammeter

Diagram

Method

The first thing I began doing in this experiment was to set up the circuit using the apparatus above.

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Conclusion

Conclusion

From looking at my results, I can clearly say that my prediction was correct. As the length of the wire increases, so did the resistance of the wire. I feel that overall my results were quite accurate. This can be seen when looking at the graph, they show all the points apart from three being in a straight line. Most errors in the experiment were encountered in the measuring of the wire. I feel this is because the crocodile clips were not always fixed properly to the wire with a good connection. This also meant that they were easy to move about on the wire changing the length of it.  Another example of an error that occurred was the wire was not always totally straight when we started the experiment. This could have had an effect on the resistance of the wire. Putting these errors aside, overall I think the experiment was fairly accurate. The only way to make it even more accurate is to use a metal bar so that it will not bend.    

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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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