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Resistance of Wire

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Science coursework: PHYSICS

Science course work

Resistance of Wire

Aim: My aim is to investigate how the lengths of wire affect its resistance.

Prediction: I predict that the longer the wire higher the resistance will be.

My prediction is based on the following background knowledge

Electric current is the flow of electrons which carry negative charges (-).

Electric current cannot flow through all materials but it can flow through conductorsbut cannot flow through an insulator.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   An example of a conductor is a metal, which all have free electrons in them (Copper is of better conductor than others among the metals) while an example of an insulator are plastic, rubber, wood, nylon, etc. (They all have no free electrons).

When a wire is connected to a battery, the free electrons can flow in a wire. Electrons move from one edge of the wire to the other. When the electrons are flowing they will collide with the atom, and these collisions cause the free electrons to loose energy slow down.

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Make connection as in the Diagram.Connect the crocodile clip at 20cm.Take five 5) set of voltmeters & ammeter readings changing the rheostat.Write them down in the table.Repeat for other lengths, 40cm, 60cm, 80cm & 100cm.Record all result in the table. DISCONNECT AND PUT ALL EQUIPMENT AWAY.


Voltage is kept below 6v to prevent the wire from heating and not to damage the meters. After experimenting they are disconnected.

Safety: Don’t change voltage setting on the power pack. It’s at a safe value.

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The investigation I made has been successful because my prediction was proved correct. This was possible because I planned it properly. Among my five (5) sets of reading I can make a valid conclusion because most of my points are on the line graph. My resource is reliable.

The conclusion I made really agreed with the prediction totally supported by collision theory. In my graph there are some points outside my line graph and these are the anomalous results. These might be because I didn’t read the meter properly or maybe one the connection was loose. The wire might have been hot and temperature was change and this conclusion change.

I will be careful reading of my results, I will use lesser voltage so that the wire does not get heated.

The other possible investigation can be making changes in temperature, thickness and material, and see how they affected the resistance.

In my overall investigation, I found it had to connect the equipments together (volt meter, switch, connecting wire etc.). And I found it easier for me to plot my average resistance graph.

Bisoye Adebiyi (Bibby)              Centre No: 10502               Candidate No: 4560

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This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Electricity and Magnetism section.

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