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Resistance of a Wire

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  • Essay length: 2115 words
  • Submitted: 04/01/2007
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GCSE Electricity and Magnetism

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GCSE Physics Coursework - Resistance of a Wire Coursework

Resistance of a Wire

Task

To investigate how the resistance of a wire is affected by the length of the wire.

Theory

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.

How is it measured?

The resistance of a length of wire is calculated by measuring the current present in the circuit (in series) and the voltage across the wire

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