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Investigating the resistance of a wire.

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G.C.S.E. Physics Coursework Ben Bowden 11C Investigating the Resistance of a Wire Aim The aim of the investigation is to investigate factors that might affect the resistance of a wire, and then design a circuit to test resistances and obtain results from experiments on the chosen factor. Background into Resistance In a Circuit, a current consisting of electrons flows. Resistance is a constriction in the flow of electrons. If the voltage is increased, then more current will flow, but if resistance is increased by a component e.g. potentiometer, then less current will flow around the circuit. To calculate resistance, I shall be using Ohm's Law, that states Resistance is equal to the Potential Difference, (Voltage), divided by the Current, (Amps), of the circuit. R= V/I Factors The main factors that could affect the resistance of the wire are; Temperature, Cross-Sectional Area and Length. ...read more.


Equipment For the Investigation, I shall require: Different types of 100 cm length wire e.g. Nichrome, Copper and Constantine A Potentiometer/Variable Resistor A Battery Pack to supply voltage A 100cm Ruler A Voltmeter An Ammeter Crocodile Clips Connecting Wires The accuracy of the results and the readings on equipment such as the ammeter and the voltmeter will be measured to around 3 decimal places. Circuit Diagram + D.C. 4V 100cm length ruler - The wires to be tested will be set up beside a 100cm length ruler in order to take readings from 10cm intervals, off of the ammeter and voltmeter. Fair Test To make the experiment fair, the same equipment and environment will be kept the same for all readings. Voltage, current and measurements will be kept constant. Only the wire will be changed, to enable clear reliable results. The environment will be kept clear of any interference such as water that could have an effect on the results. ...read more.


This prediction is based on my knowledge of Ohm's Law and by the fact that as the length of the wire increases, the extra length to be travelled slows electrons in the current. Prediction Graph Resistance 0 Length Preliminary Testing Preliminary testing is required to choose what type of wire is going to be used in the investigation. To choose between Copper, Nichrome and Constantine, I performed a sample test where I compared ranges of results. I found that Nichrome was most reliable and Constantine was most conductive, copper did not give a wide enough spread of results due to its low resistance; this is why copper is used in household appliances. Therefore I shall be investigating 36 gauge Nichrome wire. I have chosen 36 standard wide gauge, as it will give me a spread of 40 ohms per metre. Ben Bowden 11C ...read more.

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