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Investigation into the resistance of wire.

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Introduction

Investigation into the resistance of wire Aim I am investigating different factors, which will affect the resistance of a piece of wire. Background I know Resistance is caused by collisions the more collisions there are means the more resistance. The reason for these collisions is that in a longer piece of wire, there are more particles for electrons to push past, this makes it harder for electricity to flow so resistance increases. When there is an electric field the loose electrons go towards the positive charge (opposites attract). I have illustrated how the electrons escape the atoms below. Prediction I predict that the longer the wire is the more resistance there will be, I think this because the electrons will collide with each other more and so therefore they lose some of their energy. In a longer circuit it is harder for electrons to get around without colliding with each other. Plan There are many factors, which could affect the resistance of a wire; they are the length of the wire, the temperature, the material the wire is made of and the thickness of the wire. ...read more.

Middle

To work out the resistance use this equation: - Resistance = Fair Test To ensure that this is a fair test I will use the same battery, voltmeter and ammeter through the experiment. It is also important that I take the battery out between each reading as if I left it in the wire will get hot and temperature would be another variable and so this would make my test unfair. I must also make sure that the wire used is the same thickness each time and that it is made out of the same material, as these are also variables. Safety To keep safe in this experiment I must ensure to take care when handling the wire once it has been used as it will be hot and may be melted. I must also make sure my hands are dry as if they are wet it is dangerous. Results Length (Cm) Voltage (V) ...read more.

Conclusion

I think my results are accurate as I repeated each experiment twice and they look right. I did not find the method hard, but it was not easy to measure the length of wire, as I had to straighten the wire every time, I may have measured the wire off a few millimetres, which could have affected my results. The voltage also went up each time, which it should not have done. Another problem I encountered was that the value on the ammeter and voltmeter sometimes changed as I was writing down the value it said, this could affect the experiment as a lower/higher result than it was and this would also affect the resistance. Although the battery was supposed to be disconnected after each reading it may not have been so the experiment might have had a heat build up, leading to more resistance on the next length of wire. If I were to do this experiment again I would use a variable resistor to keep the voltage the same. ...read more.

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