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The aim of this investigation is to find out how different lengths of a 1m long nichrome wire affect its resistance.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Science Coursework/Physics

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AIM

The aim of this investigation is to find out how different lengths of a 1m long nichrome wire affect its resistance.

PREDICTION

I predict that if I double the length of the nichrome wire, its resistance will also double. I predict that if I half the length of the nichrome wire, the resistance will also half. Therefore I predict that resistance will increase in proportion to the increase in the length of the wire.

HYPOTHESIS

Why does a metal conduct?

A metal is made up of positive ions surrounded by a sea of free electrons. The ions in a metal are positive because it is easy for a metal to lose one or two electrons, from its outer shell, than to gain six or seven electrons to complete the outer shell. The electrons are lost and are free to move around and the ions become positive as the number of protons increase, compared to the number of electrons. The metal can now conduct electricity, as it is positive.

Here is a diagram to show the structure of a metal:

What is resistance?

Resistance is the measure of how difficult it is for the current to get through a wire.   We measure the resistance in Ohms, with the symbol

           Resistance, R = p.d. across the wire (V)___

                                       Current through the wire (I)

                                           R = V

                                               I

What causes the resistance in a wire?

The electrons in a wire are free to move through it, but it is not perfectly easy. The ions of the wire get in the way.

...read more.

Middle

2.9

2.89

6

2.09

2.87

8

2.8

2.86

80

2

0.77

2.6

4

1.55

2.58

2.57

6

2.35

2.55

8

3.14

2.55

70

2

0.87

2.3

4

1.76

2.27

2.27

6

2.66

2.26

8

3.58

2.23

60

2

1.01

1.98

4

2.05

1.95

1.95

6

3.1

1.94

8

4.15

1.93

50

2

1.21

1.65

4

2.45

1.63

1.64

6

3.68

1.63

8

4.9

1.63

40

2

1.47

1.36

4

3

1.33

1.34

6

4.52

1.33

8

5.99

1.34

30

2

1.84

1.09

4

3.83

1.04

1.06

6

5.73

1.05

8

7.61

1.05

20

2

2.74

0.74

4

5.52

0.75

0.74

6

8

0.72

8

10.75

0.74

I used the formula R=V to calculate the resistance.

            I

To calculate the average resistance I added up the resistance for each measurement and divided the total by 4.

Results table 2 showing the readings obtained

...read more.

Conclusion

  • The ammeters and the voltmeters were probably faulty and I could not get the accurate results.
  • The power pack might have malfunctioned and might have ruined whole of the voltage supply.
  • The scale of the metre rule I used was not marked according to scale and that affected in the accuracy of my results.

The random errors:

  • I might have made a mistake while recording the results. E.g. instead of recording 3.06 I might have recorded 3.66
  • I might have cut the wire a little longer or a little shorter while cutting it.

Due to all these errors the accuracy of my results might have been brought down while doing the investigation.

The ways that I could improve this method to get more reliable data are:

  • Using computer controlled ammeters and voltmeters to detect any faults n them.
  • Use a more reliable power pack then the one I used in the investigation.
  • Use a different piece of wire for each length so as to prevent over heating of the wire.
  • Use a digital ruler to measure the different lengths of wire to prevent the measuring error.

These are the ways, which I came across in order to get more reliable and precise results.

Further experiments that I can do to investigate this topic are:

  • Measuring the resistance in a bulb using different volts
  • Measuring the amount of resistance in metals such as copper, with different masses.

Doing these experiments will further prove my results more reliable and back the theory of resistance.

Resources

I would like to acknowledge these resources, as they were very helpful to me in my investigation:

  • Mr Jackson (teacher)
  • Physics for You (txt book)
  • Focus on science (txt book)

Dip Shah/10HO

...read more.

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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