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The Electrical Resistance of Wires

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Introduction

Karim Al-shammaa

The Electrical Resistance of Wires

Plan

Introduction

In this investigation I will be looking at the resistance of wires to an electrical current and determining the factors that affect the resistance of a wire.
There are five main factors that affect the resistance of a piece of wire. These are as follows:

1) The material that the wire is made of.
2) The length of the wire
3) The thickness (or diameter) of the wire.
4) The temperature of the wire.
5) Voltage of the circuit.

However, in my investigation I will only be looking at two different factors that affect the resistance of the wire. These two factors are length of the wire and thickness of the wire.

Apparatus

For this investigation I will need several pieces of apparatus, these are as follows:

1) A ruler (to measure the length of the piece of wire that is being used).
2) Wires (to connect the circuit together)
3) A multimeter (to measure the resistance of the wire)
4) A role of Constantine wire.


Method

In this investigation I will do as follows:
As I will be investigating one variable at a time, I will need to keep the other variables constant. When measuring the length I will always use the same material: Constantan wire. Also I will make sure that the wire does not get hot by not measuring any less than 10cm. Also, I will always use the same thickness wire, 32SWG (standard gauge).

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Middle




Results

Testing the thickness

Using a 50 cm long piece of Constantan wire:

SWG

Equivalent in mm

1st attempt

2nd attempt

3rd attempt

Average

20

24

26

28

30

32

34

38

0.9

0.56

0.45

0.37

0.31

0.28

0.25

0.125

1.4

1.5

1.9

2.7

3.7

4.5

6.5

14.2

1.5

1.5

2.0

2.7

3.6

4.3

6.5

14.4

1.4
1.4
1.9
2.9
3.7
4.5

6.7

14.2

1.4

1.5

1.9

2.8

3.7

4.4

6.5

14.3

Testing the Length

Using 32 SWG (0.28mm) thickness Constantan wire:

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Conclusion


I could have made more accurate results and a more varied set of results by doing the experiment at more than just 32SWG. This would have given more varied results at different thicknesses. I could have made my results more accurate by doing the experiment more than 3 times (perhaps 5 times) and taken the average of each set of results. This would have given me more accurate results.
Inaccuracy in the results (like in the first attempt on length at 40cm) may have been due to the fact that the equipment used may not have been working properly or plain human fault. Also, when measuring the length of wire to be tested, it is possible that I may have slightly misread the length on the ruler by a couple of millimeters because of kinks and twists in the wire making it nearly impossible to get a perfectly straight piece of wire. This may have caused slightly inaccurate results.

Thickness

My results for testing the thickness were, on the whole, quite accurate with the exception of minor mistakes. This could have been due to an inaccurate length of wire, a temperature change or an inaccurate reading. However, the over all results produced a good smooth inversely proportional curve. If I were to conduct this experiment again I would have used more accurate equipment and tested more lengths at more SWGs than I did to give a more varied set of results.





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