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The factors that affect the resistance of a wire

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The factors that affect the resistance of a wire

Introduction

I have decided to choose a factor that will affect the resistance of a wire. I shall do this by studying some of the factors that affect the resistance, and then selecting the one that I believe will be the most effective and easiest to measure. When doing this experiment it is important to know that resistance occurs when the electrons moving along a wire collide with the atoms in the wire. Therefore resistance is measure of how hard it is for electrons to move through a wire.

Factors

  1. Temperature- if the wire is heated, atoms within the wire will begin to vibrate because of the increase in energy. This causes more collisions between the atoms and the electrons. This increase in collisions means an increase in resistance.
  2. Wire length- if the length of the wire is increased then the resistance will also increase. This will happen because the electrons will have a greater distance to travel and so more collisions will take place
  3. Wire width
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Middle

                   Amps                                                          current

Length of wire

Test 1 (2V)

Test 2 (3V)

Test 3(4V)

 Average Ώ

V

A

Ώ

V

A

 Ώ

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Conclusion

Evaluation

From my results table and graph I can see that the results collected are reasonably reliable. This is shown by the fact that there are no individual anomalous results. However, the graph shows that the averages plotted do not lie on a straight line. I believe my prediction can be proved correct, and there are different possibilities for the inaccuracy of the results.

  1.  Factors in the investigation could have been controlled better (e.g. the measuring of the wire length, because if this is not done properly it will lead to inaccurate results.
  2. The experiment could have been conducted under controlled conditions, as such things as temperature can change, which would affect the outcome of the experiment.
  3. More than 5 different wire lengths could have been tested, this would generate more detailed and therefore create an accurate line of best fit.
  4. Equipment could have been used to control the temperature of the wire, because the hotter a wire gets the more the atoms vibrate, which causes more collisions with elections travelling trough the wire, and the resistance is affected accordingly.


[1]*  I calculated this linear regression using the statistics software package SPSS.

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