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Investigation into the factors which affect the Electrical Resistance of a length of wire.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Investigation into the factors which affect the Electrical Resistance of a length of wire.

I will be doing an experiment to find out the resistance of a length of wire.

There will be four main factors that will affect the resistance of the wire in question.

  • The length of the wire
  • The temperature the wire reaches as the current is passed through it
  • The thickness of the wire in question, or cross-sectional area of the wire
  • The material the wire is made out of. I.e. density

Now I will talk of my scientific knowledge on the subject of electricity.

From my own Knowledge or from notes taken from teachers.

Electricity is the flow of electrons of around a circuit. The electrons (e -) come from the atom in the metal. The electrons flow the opposite way to the conventional current. The unit of current is measured in the Ampere (A). The definition of Current is, 1 Coulomb is the charge on any point in a circuit when a steady current of 1 Ampere flows for 1 second    

                                                                     1 A  = 1 c

          1 s

Voltage is measured in Volts (V). The definition of voltage is the difference in electrical potential between 2 points. E.g. A terminal in a Cell. Voltage, basically you get the opposite results to current.

Resistance is measured in Ohm’sΩ

The resistance of a wire is affected by these 4 factors, the material, length, cross-sectional area and density.

...read more.

Middle

My observations for this experiment.

My observations for this experiment were: -

  1. That the wire got very hot when the length of wire was only 10cm long

  2. It would also burn the wood and plastic it was attached to.
  3. As the length of wire increased the resistance got greater.
  4. The voltage decreased as the length of wire increased.
  5. The Current increases as the length of wire is increased.

This is my Table of Results for the readings of Volts and Amps. V=Volts I=Current

Length cm

V

I

V2

I2

V3

I3

V4

I4

V5

I5

10

1.70

2.26

1.68

2.28

1.68

2.18

1.69

2.17

1.71

2.09

20

1.96

1.42

1.94

1.44

1.93

1.37

1.94

1.37

1.94

1.36

30

2.08

1.06

2.06

1.04

2.07

1.02

2.06

0.98

2.06

1.02

40

2.13

0.82

2.14

0.83

2.14

0.82

2.12

0.79

2.14

0.81

50

2.20

0.70

2.19

0.69

2.18

0.67

2.17

0.66

2.18

0.67

60

2.23

0.58

2.22

0.58

2.22

0.57

2.20

0.56

2.22

0.57

70

2.26

0.51

2.24

0.53

2.26

0.50

2.23

0.50

2.24

0.50

80

2.28

0.46

2.26

0.43

2.28

0.45

2.25

0.44

2.27

0.44

90

2.30

0.41

2.28

0.40

2.30

0.40

2.27

0.40

2.28

0.40

100

2.32

0.37

2.30

0.37

2.31

0.36

2.30

0.56

2.30

0.36

...read more.

Conclusion

I think that my initial results support my final results because I predicted the right result and my prediction supported the final result by the way it explained what would happen in the experiment.

Was the method good?

I think that if I did this same experiment again I would change some things like some of the equipment, but the method I used worked well enough for what I wanted it to do, so if I could change some things I would choose to change some of the equipment like the power supply and use more accurate equipment. I would also change the way I connected the crocodile clips to the length of wire because when you try to connect them to the wire you have to lift up the wire and this in turn makes the 100 cm longer by about 3cm so thus making the results more unreliable.

Reliability of Observations?

I think that my observations were reliable and that my graph showed me that there were no anomalies that I was aware of, the normalness of the results of the graph supports my firm conclusion.

...read more.

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