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To investigate how the length of a wire effects the resistance of it.

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To investigate how the length of a wire effects the resistance of it.


I can predict that the longer the length of the wire the greater the resistance. This is because the electrons will have to travel for a longer period of time and so there will be more collisions occurring. So the length should be directly proportional to the increase in resistance.

For example in a 20cm wire, the electrons would have to travel double the distance than say in a 10cm long. This would then double the amount of atoms that the electrons collide with and so in turn this would double the resistance.

Below I have shown how I predict my graph to look like:

I think that as the length of the wire increases the resistance will also. This is because the electrons will have to travel further through the wire and so there are going to be more atoms colliding with each other and getting in the way.


Resistance is the force, which opposes the flow of an electrical current around a circuit in order to allow the energy required to push the particles around, in a circuit.  It measures how hard it is to move the electrons through the wire.

...read more.


The apparatus needed for the experiment are listed below:

Power supply



Nichrome wire

Meter ruler

Crocodile clips

Connecting wires


To ensure a fair test and provide myself with accurate and reliable results I will be do the following:

  • The power supply must stay on 4v
  • The surrounding temperature constant
  • Equipment should be kept the same
  • Crocodile clips should be exactly on the edges of the measured length.
  • salotape


I carried out a trial experiment to establish a suitable number to set the power supply on and to familiarise myself with the method as a whole so that if any problems arose I could correct when doing my original experiment. This would ensure that my results would be accurate in order for me to understand the relationship between the length of the wire and how it effects the resistance of it.

First I made sure that the equipment was set out as appropriate, shown in the diagram.

Then I plotted a rough sketch of my table with the appropriate headings.

The length of the wire will range from 10cm – 100cm whilst using intervals of 10cm.

Then I stretched the wire fully onto a meter ruler and taped it down. I changed the length of the wire by moving the crocodile clips across the meter ruler at intervals of 10cms.

...read more.



My prediction was proved correct as I stated that as the length of the wire increased so did the amount of resistance. This was due to the number of electrons in the wire.

My graph which I obtained from the experiment proved my prediction correct as my results on my graph showed just that.

However I may have got inaccurate results because of the fact that it is difficult to be able to get an accurate length by eye, as the wire may not be the same thickness throughout and this could have affected my results.

My results were reasonably accurate and I feel that it would be difficult to try and improve on it, as there were no anomalous results.

However if I were to do the experiment again I would use newer more accurate voltmeters and ammeters. I would also have a, more accurate method of measuring and taken more readings to ensure even more accurate results and allow me to get a more average result.

I feel that the experiment was not poorly carried out and I was fairly pleased with the outcome of my results as it proved my prediction correct, that the length of a wire does in fact effect the resistance of  it and that when length is increased then resistance is also.

...read more.

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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