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Investigation into how the resistance of a wire can vary.

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Introduction

Investigation into how the resistance of a wire can vary

The resistance of a wire can be affected by many different factors. I am going to look at all the possible variables, and see which factor I am going to study more closely, and then see how it effects the resistance of the wire. Resistance occurs when the electrons travelling along the wire collide with the atoms of the wire. These collisions slow down the flow of electrons causing resistance. Resistance is a measure of how hard it is to move the electrons through the wire.

“Electrical resistance” itself is the opposition of the flow of electrons in the wire. Ohm’s law states that the potential difference (voltage),

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Middle

3. Wire length- If the wire length is increased then the resistance will also increase. This is because the electrons have longer to travel, and therefore more collisions will occur.

4. Wire width- If the width of the wire is increased the resistance will decrease. This is because there is more space for the electrons to travel through. If the wire is thicker, the electrons are less tightly packed in there, and so there is more space, which means there will be fewer collisions with atoms.

I am going to investigate how the length of the wire affects the electrical resistance, as this is a simple, yet affective way of getting accurate results.

Prediction

I predict that increasing the length of the wire will proportionally increase the resistance.

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Conclusion

I will record the resistance at each of the following lengths-
5 cm
10cm
15cm
20cm
25cm

When I record the results of each length, I am going to take 5 measurements of the resistance, from 5 different places on the wire. Therefore I will have 5 results, and I can average them to give me a more accurate resistance.

Once I have both the voltage and the current for each of the 5 sets of readings on each wire length, I am able to calculate the resistance using Ohm’s law.

Resistance = Voltage ÷ Current

I am going to work out the resistance of each measurement this way.

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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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