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The aim of this investigation is to find out the cross-sectional area of a wire affects its resistance.

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The aim of this investigation is to find out the cross-sectional area of a wire affects its resistance.



  • Voltmeter
  • Ammeter
  • 100 cm resistance wire (variable thickness)
  • Power pack
  • Micrometer
  • Crocodile clips
  • Meter ruler


  • Set up the circuit as the diagram above shows with the smallest thickness of wire first.
  • Set the voltage on the power pack to 6V.
  • Record the actual voltage supplied and the current in the circuit.
  • Change the thickness of the wire to the next thickest.
  • Repeat until all the wires current and voltage has been recorded.
  • Draw a graph of resistance against the cross-sectional.


Keep the voltage low or it will heat up and the wire will melt which may lead to someone burning themselves. Use a reasonably long length of wire so that the current does not get too high and melt the wire. When removing the wire make sure that the power pack is turned off so that you do not get electrocuted. Also wait for the wire to cool down before you remove it so as not to burn yourself. If the wire does start to melt maybe decrease the amount of current going through it.

Fair test

For any fair test only one of the variables should be able to change. These are the variables:


...read more.















In the trial run the length of the wire was 50 cm so this is the length that I have decided to use in my proper experiment. I have also decided to use the voltage of 6V on the power pack as this gave the best results; the current is not too high that it will melt the wire and not too high that the results will not give a very good conclusion. I have also decided to use

...read more.



  • For the first improvement I would use a new power pack so that it would give out the voltage I wanted. Not like the one I used in the experiment which was at least 3 volts under what I wanted it to be.
  • I would also use wire that had not been wrapped up as when I tried to measure the length it was right on the exact length.


        For further investigation next time I would change the length. From that experiment I would be able to find out whether there was less or more resistance with the different lengths of wire. I could also investigate changing the material of the wire which would give me an idea of what material gives the most or least resistance. Finally I could investigate the temperature and this would tell me if there was less or more resistance with hot or warm temperatures

Overall I think that the experiment was a good success and I found out a lot from it.

...read more.

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