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Investigating what Factors Effect the Resistance of a Wire.

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Investigating what Factors Effect the Resistance of a Wire.

For this investigation I am going to investigate a factor which effects resistance of a wire.

Resistance is measured in ohms (Ω). It is a measure of how hard it is to move current through a component, it occurs when electrons travelling along the wire collides with the atoms of the wire.

To choose a factor to measure I will make a list of the factors I could investigate and decide which one is best for me to investigate.

  1. Material – The type of material will effect the type of atom in the wire, which consequently dictates the number of free electrons.

      I will not investigate this factor because, although recording results would be simple, no graph could be drawn, from which a connection could be made.

  1. Temperature – If the wire is heated the atoms will have an increase in energy, This will cause more collisions.

I wont investigate this factor either as it would be extremely hard to carry this out as a fair test, as it would be very difficult to control the temperature of the wire.

...read more.


This is OHMS law, stating that resistance is voltage divided by current.

Improvements I could make from the trial experiment are that I will record the volts and amps in my results table as well to make sure there are no calculation errors. I will also test longer pieces of wire.



Power Supply



28 Constantin Wire

Meter Ruler

Crocodile clips

Connecting wires

I have chosen 28 constantin wire as from my trial results I found it the most accurate type of wire, and manageable.

 To collect the data for my graph I have chosen to take a range of 8 lengths, this will ensure a large range for the graph, and should make it more accurate. I have also chosen to repeat each length three times and then take an average, I have chosen to do this so that if there are any anomalous results then they should not show when I plot the averages on the graph. The lengths I have chosen are: 10cm, 20cm, 30cm, 40cm, 50cm, 60cm, 70cm and 80cm, These lengths give a good range.

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directly proportional.


From my results table and graph I can see that although my results gave a good trend of the results, they were not perfectly accurate, not lying exactly on the line of best fit. Though there weren’t any anomalies that stood out.

Some of the result may not have laid exactly on the line because of inaccurate equipment, human error or faults in the experiment.

During the experiment I noticed several modifications I could make to improve the investigation. To be more accurate in my investigation I would instead of using crocodile clips to connect the wire, use pointers. This would be more accurate because the tips would have a much smaller surface area than the crocodile clips, giving a more accurate measurement of the length of wire.

Also if there were a way of preventing the wire being tested heating up I would do this as if the wire gets hot, then the resistance is affected.  It is affected due to the atoms having more energy and moving faster, causing more collisions.

As well as these modifications to expand on my investigation I would investigate other factors that affect the resistance of a wire, such as width and material.

...read more.

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