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Physics Resistance of a wire cwk

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Usamah Islam 10a                                                                           Physics Coursework








  • Understand how resistance in wires varies with length

Resistance wire is an electrical wire used for its resistance. It is routinely used at high temperatures, so normally also has high melting point. Resistance wire is usually used for high-power resistors and heating elements, which produce heat used in electric heaters, electric ovens and toasters, and many other appliances.

What is Resistance?

Electricity is conducted through a conductor, in this case wire, by means of free electrons. The number of free electrons depends on the material and more free electrons means a better conductor, i.e. it has less resistance. For example, gold has more free electrons than iron and, as a result, it is a better conductor. The free electrons are given energy and as a result move and collide with neighbouring free electrons. This happens across the length of the wire and thus electricity is conducted. Resistance is the result of energy loss as heat. It involves collisions between the free electrons and the fixed particles of the metal, other free electrons and impurities. These collisions convert some of the energy that the free electrons are carrying into heat.

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Method for Preliminary and Actual experiment:

To do this investigation we made a circuit , I will tell you how we constructed the circuit in a few simple steps.

Firstly we collected all of our equipment, Ammeter, Battery pack, Wireboard, Wires, and Rheostat etc. (RHEOSTAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN PRELIMINARY, ONLY IN ACTUAL EXPERIMENT)

Next we drew up a table to record our results.

Thirdly, we up the circuit with the wire length 10 cm and then increasing the length eventually to 60 cm.

We repeated this for all the lengths and another two times for the actual experiment.

After recording all our results we worked out the resistance of each length by using the triangle shown below.


If our preliminary experiment goes as planned then the actual experiment will have the same method, but we will repeat the experiment three times so we get three sets of results to get more accurate results. We will also draw a graph from our actual results.

Our preliminary experiment was successful, however, we want to keep the current the same throughout so we will add a rheostat to our circuit.

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In conclusion I think that I have successfully managed to investigate how the length of a wire affects the resistance of a wire. I have gained accurate and a clear range of reliable data, and I have also presented the data in scatter graphs and discussed the anomalous result, and the trends and correlation of the data. I enjoyed this task because we were allowed to choose our way of investigating our experiment.

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