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Investigation to show how the physical factors of a wire affect its resistance.

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Introduction

Investigation to show how the physical factors of a wire affect its resistance Aim To figure out how the length of a wire affects the resistance of current flow through a constantan wire. Prediction I am doing an experiment to investigate how the length of a wire in a complete circuit affects the current, voltage and resistance. The current in the circuit should decrease as the length of wire increases. This is simply because the circuit is longer so the current spreads and there are more chances of collisions with atoms in the wire. The voltage should stay the same throughout all of the experiments because the power does not change. In theory, the resistance should increase as the length of wire increases. This is because in a shorter wire the current can flow through the wire easier. There are more chances of collisions with atoms in the wire in a longer wire, which will reduce the flow of electrons. Therefore I predict that as the length of wire I use from the wire-board gets longer, the resistance will increase. I also think that if the length of wire doubles, the number of ohms will also double. ...read more.

Middle

One will be current against length and the other will be resistance against length. This will hopefully help me find out how the length of the wire affects the current and resistance of the wire. Improving Accuracy and Fair Test To improve accuracy and keep it a fair test I will firstly keep the power pack turned on for as short as possible. This is to stop heat affecting the results by warming up the wires and possibly reducing the resistance. I will also keep the power pack switched on to 2V to keep the temperature as low as possible and keep it on Dc to prevent any electric shocks. I will also ensure all crocodile clips and connections are secured to prevent current loss. When reading the voltmeter and ammeter I will round the digits up to 2 decimal places to make sure the average is as accurate as possible. To keep it a fair test I will only change 1 variable, the length of wire. Repeating the experiment 3 times and working out the average is also a way of keeping the experiment fair. Preliminary Work Before doing the experiment I am doing some preliminary work to see if everything works and get an idea of the range of lengths of wires to use. ...read more.

Conclusion

In future to prevent any loose connections of wires I would thoroughly check every connection by using a bulb as a tester. This would also work to check whether the equipment is working correctly. It is fine for me to say my experiment went well but I need to check somebody else's results to see whether they are similar to mine. This group's results were using exactly the same factors as me so I can compare the results better. Their results seem to go in the same direction of mine, proving that resistance in a wire increases with the length. However, the theory that as the length of wire doubles so does the resistance is not so clear with their work. For example, at 20cm the resistance was 0.43 and at 40cm it was 0.75. This is not far off but the difference between that of 10 and 20cm is. The resistance does not change. There is obviously something very wrong here as it is supposedly meant to double. This could be a loose connection or faulty wire that has been fixed later on. Compared to this groups results, my experiment ran smoothly and it shows that every experiment cannot run perfectly every time. ...read more.

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