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Resistance of a Wire

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Ewan Pomfret 10S

Resistance of a Wire

Aim & Plan

The objective of this investigation is to investigate whether the length of some nichrome wire affects the resistance produced when you pass electricity through it. Resistance is a consequence of the electrons in electricity being prohibited from free movement. It is what slows current in a circuit. Therefore if you were to increase the resistance in a circuit, the current would reduce.

I am going to test how resistance in a wire is affected by the length of the wire. I am going to find out if: As the length of the wire increases, the resistance increases.

I will be using the formula V=IR (Resistance = Voltage ÷ Current)


In testing the variable 'length' I predict that as the length of the wire doubles so will the resistance. Therefore I predict that the resistance in the wire will be directly proportional to the length of the wire. In theory the atoms in the nichrome wire slow the passing electrons therefore causing resistance so by doubling the length of the wire; you double the atoms and double the resistance

However in my results this prediction may not be evident as I will not just be calculating the resistance in the nichrome wire but the entire circuit.

...read more.


The range of measurements taken

I am going to be taking a large range of measurements. The wire being tested will be increased by 10cms each time the experiment is carried out until the wire is 1m long. This will give me 10 sets of results. When plotted on a graph the extensive range of results will allow me to give a more reliable prediction for what I think will happen next. This is also a sufficient amount of results to test the relationships between the variables.

How do I intend to get the most accurate results?

To obtain the most accurate results I will carry out each experiment three times and then take the average by adding them together and the dividing by three. Therefore I will only have one set of results.

I will also use two different types of measuring devices - Analogue meters (where you read the measurement yourself) and Digital meters (where the measurement is displayed automatically). This will ensure the reliability of my results as I will be able to compare the two readings. The digital meters are more accurate providing that the equipment is set up correctly. The analogue meters, although less

...read more.


I could extend this investigation to test how the cross-sectional area of a wire effects the current in it. I would do this by collecting about five wires of different diameters and cut them all to the exact same length. I would measure the current through them and the potential difference across them and see how the resistance changed in each wire. I would predict that the resistance would decrease as the cross-sectional area of a wire increased.

...read more.

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