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# Resistivity in a wire coursework

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Tony Tien 11s

Planning:

I am going to investigate how the thickness of copper wire affects the resistance through it. For this investigation, I am going to use copper wire and electricity to test the resistance. When I pass electricity through a copper wire, resistance is created which slows down the flow of electrons.

If a component has a high resistance, it is more difficult for a charge to flow through it. The electrons will end up making many collisions with ions.

If there is a potential difference across a conductor, a current goes through it. However, when you apply the same p.d. across different conductors, the currents are different.

Resistance is measured in ohms (Ω) and is defined as:

‘The resistance of a conductor is the ratio of the p.d. applied across it, to the current passing through it.’

Resistance, R =     p.d. across the conductor, V (volts)

Current through the conductor, I (amps)

R = V               V = I R

I

To find the resistance of a wire, it must be placed in a circuit with a voltmeter parallel to the wire. The circuit must also contain an ammeter and a variable d.c. supply. The voltmeter is used to find the p.d.

Middle

Once I’ve got at least 6 readings for one wire, I will repeat this with a different piece of wire that has a different thickness until I have 5 different sets of data.

Obtaining:
 Average Thickness Of Wire = 0.704mm Average Thickness Of Wire = 0.254mm Current (Amps) Voltage (Volts) Current (Amps) Voltage (Volts) 0.18 0.05 0.03 0.07 0.34 0.12 0.36 0.16 0.53 0.20 1.00 0.40 0.83 0.31 1.74 0.69 1.09 0.39 2.45 0.97 1.53 0.55 3.07 1.31 1.96 0.60 3.48 1.67 2.35 0.72
 Average Thickness Of Wire = 0.644mm Average Thickness Of Wire = 0.316mm Current (Amps) Voltage (Volts) Current (Amps) Voltage (Volts) 0.18 0.25 0.08 0.06 1.61 0.31 0.12 0.18 3.10 0.43 0.36 0.24 4.50 0.60 1.10 0.43 5.45 0.72 2.17 0.57 7.16 0.85 3.06 0.69 8.74 0.97 3.92 0.86 9.57 1.10
 Average Thickness Of Wire = 0.866mm Current (Amps) Voltage (Volts) 0.13 0.01 1.73 0.13 3.64 0.27 6.04 0.34 8.02 0.38 10.53 0.50

Analysing:

Conclusion

My method could be improved by using better crocodile clips and better leads because the results were fluctuating. I had to hold down the leads and crocodile clips until I got reasonable results to record. Also, using copper wire that isn’t waxed could help because I wouldn’t need to sand it. Sanding it takes off the wax but I could also sand off the copper, making it thinner. Furthermore, after recording a reading, I could turn the power pack off to allow the copper wire to cool down. This would make my results more reliable because there wouldn’t be any heat left in the wire to increase resistance. I will be keeping the temperature of the wire fairly the same for each of my readings. This should make my graph of cross-sectional area and resistance more similar to the graph made using the formula.

For further work, I could use a different type of wire to be able to compare the resistance difference. From this, I will be able to tell if different wires have different resistances and by how much.

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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