• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Electrical Resistance of a wire

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Electrical Resistance of a wire

Resistance

To understand electrical resistance in a wire, you must first understand how the wire is able to conduct electricity. In metal atoms, the electrons in the outer shell are loosely attached. These electrons float around in a “sea” of electrons. This is called metallic bonding. This explains why metals can conduct electricity so well. So when electricity is passed to one part of the metal, the electrons quickly carry it to all the other parts. The conductivity of a solid will depend on the density of free electrons and how easily they move. Resistivity depends on how difficult it is for electrons to move through a medium. Atoms are arranged in “ energy bands”. The lower band is called the valence bad and the higher band is called the conduction band.  For electricity to flow, the electrons gathered at the lower bad must flow to the conduction band, where they are free to flow to make an electrical current. Resistance is how hard it is to move electrons through a medium. When travelling electrons in a wire collide with the atoms of a wire and other obstacles, such as impurities. The collisions between the electrons and atoms cause the electrons to move slower, which causes resistance.  

Aim

I aim to plan and carry out an experiment, which shows one variable that affects the resistance of a wire.

Planning

...read more.

Middle

2)Proportional to 1/A (where A is the area of the cross-section of the wire)

We can then, therefore create an equation for the resistance of each wire in terms of a constant of proportionality called Resistivity.

R=PL/A

Where  R=resistance

P=Resistivity of the metal

L=length

A=area of cross-section

With this equation, we can work out why copper is used for wires, as its Resistivity is very low. The electrons will move towards the positive charge, when an electrical potential is applied, as like charges attract. Electricity will flow from the negative terminal to the positive terminal. The electrons are the charge carriers that carry electricity through the circuit.

Method

Equipment:        Power Pack

                Voltmeter

                Ammeter

                Wires with crocodile clips/croc and plug clips

                Reel of wire

                Scissors

                Micrometer

                Calculator

                Ruler

                Stopwatch

Circuit

I will take the wire and cut a 10cm strip with the scissors. I will be extremely careful when trying to cut the wire, as it’s sometimes a struggle. I will set up a circuit like the one above. I will connect the wire to the circuit to act as the resistor. I will make sure that the ammeter is connected in series and the voltmeter is connected in parallel. I will set the power pack to direct current D.C.

...read more.

Conclusion

   There is also my rounding in my figures to a suitable degree of accuracy, which in this case, is to two decimal places. I feel this to be of appropriate degree of accuracy, as the voltmeter only reads to an accuracy of two decimal places. I also had to read an ammeter with a dial, so when reading the reading, it was of my own judgement, and this was not reliable. I therefore to improve the experiment, I will use a digital ammeter in my circuit. When working out my averages, I think I could use the not rounded off figures to calculate the resistance, to make my results more accurate.

   To improve my experiment next time, I think I would use wire length no smaller than 10cm, as then I could perhaps increase the voltage, to see if that makes any difference. A length smaller than 10cm with a higher voltage than 2V would overheat making the temperature of the wire increase and increasing the resistance. I would perhaps next time, make the width as my variable and the length as my constant and see how the width will affect the resistance of a wire.  

...read more.

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

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Electricity and Magnetism essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    To investigate how the resistance, R, of a length of wire, l, changes with ...

    4 star(s)

    it is harder for the free electrons to drift from the negative terminal to the positive terminal. So, there are more collisions between the electrons and the atoms, than in a wire of a larger cross-sectional area. It is the values highlighted in red in the above table, which I

  2. Resistance of a Wire Investigation

    This is where the line in graph 1 swallowed. When measuring the light intensity in terms of LUC, the greater the distance, and the slower the greater the rate of photosynthesis. While the photosynthetic rate increased, the rate at which it increased was decreasing.

  1. Investigate how the electrical resistance of a wire changes in relationship to it's length.

    So the trends that were predicted in the plan still were shown. Most errors in our experiment were encountered in the measuring of the wire. This is because it simply was not very practical to hold a piece of

  2. Investigating Resistance in an electrical circuit

    The first was to determine what type of wire to use and the second was to determine at what intervals we would use to take results. For example every 3cm or every 5 cm. In order to do this preliminary experiment we will need.

  1. Does the resistance of an electrical wire depend on its length?

    However from my investigation we are going to find out if the resistance of the circuit will or not change if the length of one of the wire is increased. My hypothesis is therefore that, if you increase the length of one of the wires you also increase the resistance,

  2. An Investigation into the factors that affect the electrical resistance of a wire

    R = ?l /A "The resistivity of a material is the resistance which a sample of it would have if its length was 1 metre and its area of a cross-section was 1 metre´┐Ż." -Quote from "Physics in outline" by Richard Candlin.

  1. The Electrical Resistance of a Wire.

    Each wire will be measured three times and then an average will be noted to ensure accuracy. The same will be done when voltage and amps are measured Fairness and Accuracy To ensure that the investigation is carried out in a fair way and that the results will be accurate and reliable a number of things must be followed.

  2. Objective: The object of this lab is to show how temperature affects the conductivity ...

    An energy change occurs, not a position change.) At room temperature, many electrons will have the energy needed to jump to the conduction band. As one electron moves out of the valence band and into the conduction band, a hole (vacancy) is produced in the valence band. Both the electrons in the conduction band and the corresponding holes in the valence band are considered charge carriers.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work