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# To find out how the resistance of a wire changes depending on its thickness.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Physics AT1                          Kobir Ali

Aim;

To find out how the resistance of a wire changes depending on its thickness.

Preliminary Work

 Current (A) Voltage (V) Resistance (Ω) 0.04 0.56 14 0.05 0.59 11.6 0.05 0.66 13.2 0.06 0.72 12 0.07 0.9 12.86 0.08 0.99 12.37 0.11 1.26 11.45 0.14 1.69 12.07 0.18 2.14 11.89 0.24 2.75 11.46

Theory

Electric conductors are materials that can carry an electric current. The best conductors are metals, because in these the electrons can move freely through the material, carrying the current. In this experiment the conductor is going to be a metal wire. As the electrons move, they strike the atoms and make them vibrate; this interferes with the current flow and causes the materials to heat up (kinetic energy). This is electrical resistance. Good conductors have low resistance (e.g. copper).

Electrical resistance measures how difficult it is for an electrical current to flow through a material. We can think of current being carried by electrons; if they were completely free to flow along, there would be no electrical resistance. However, the electrons collide with each other and with the atoms in the material and lose energy.

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Middle

24

0.55

0.58

0.55

0.56

30

0.29

0.3

0.31

0.3

32

0.24

0.24

0.24

0.24

34

0.24

0.23

0.23

0.23

36

0.19

0.19

0.19

0.19

1-

 SWG Voltage(V) /Current (A) Position Of Resistor 1 2 3 4 5 24 voltage 0.14 0.51 0.8 1.18 1.35 current 0.09 0.32 0.52 0.76 0.85 30 voltage 0.39 0.78 1.04 1.63 2 current 0.08 0.15 0.2 0.32 0.39 32 voltage 0.54 1.15 1.46 1.94 2.12 current 0.07 0.16 0.2 0.26 0.29 34
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Conclusion

We found that the resistance increased when we got down to the thinner wires. This is due to the fact that that the electrons had to always bump into each other to move along the current, therefore the resistance is increased. The current is also low because only a minimum number of

electrons can go through a given point in a circuit therefore the voltage is increased.

Evaluation

When we first carried out this investigation our results went horribly wrong. Firstly because we somehow managed to put the voltmeter in the wrong place, this gave us ridiculous results. Secondly, to give us reasonable results we had to have our wires the minimum of 50 centimetres, we made them 20 centimetres!

The second time we carried out this experiment; we corrected our mistakes and got a better set of results. But I don’t think these result were that reliable due to the fact that that each wire did not have the same diameter all the way along the 60 centimetre length.

Kobir Ali

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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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