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"What factors affect the current that flows through resistance wire?"

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Introduction

By Steven Beaney


“What factors affect the current that flows through resistance wire?”

The idea of resistance is simply how difficult it is for the electrons to move through a material. The more difficult it is, the more energy they lose in the material on their travels. There are four main factors that affect the resistance of a material they are:

: Length

: Temperature

: Diameter of the wire/ thickness

: Material

Investigation

The factor that I am going to look at is how the diameter or thickness of a wire affects its resistance.

Prediction

I think that the larger the diameter of the wire the lower the resistance. This is because the resistance happens because as the electrons move through the material (when a voltage has been applied) they collide with the atoms in the material and as a result of that they lose some of there energy. In simple terms this means that electrons are more likely to collide with more atoms in a narrow conductor than in a wider conductor therefore they will lose more energy.

Experiment

The equation used to find the resistance from current and voltage is:

Resistance (R) = Voltage (V) / Current (I)

...read more.

Middle

0.15

0.89

0.09

9.89

1.15

0.11

10.45

1.85

0.18

10.28

0.19

0.81

0.09

9.00

1.06

0.12

8.83

1.78

0.21

8.48

0.27

0.52

0.11

4.73

0.78

0.17

4.59

1.68

0.38

4.42

0.31

0.38

0.13

2.92

0.59

0.2

2.95

1.62

0.54

3.00

0.38

0.42

0.12

3.50

0.62

0.19

3.26

1.65

0.5

3.30

0.46

0.21

0.14

1.50

0.34

0.23

1.48

1.4

0.94

1.49

Resistance in the above table is calculated using the following formula:

Resistance = Voltage/ Current

e.g.: For the 0.15mm wire in Experiment 1

...read more.

Conclusion


The results recorded for the wire with cross sectional area of 0.31mm and 0.38mm appear anomalous as can be seen from both the table and graph. The most surprising result was for the 0.38mm wire. If you look at the table 2 you would expect this thickness of wire to have a lower resistance but it does not.

As for each of these wire thickness the results for each experiment are broadly similar the problem must be in the design of the experiment. The most likely cause is that these wires were not the same length as the others however there is a small chance the temperature of the wires could also have affected the results or I mistakenly inserted the wrong thickness of wire. All of these would affect the resistance.

To improve the experiment I first, must take care to ensure that each thickness of wire is exactly the same length and I insert the correct thickness into the apparatus. I could also improve the experiment by repeating the exercise for each thickness/diameter of wire using two different lengths of wire.

Another way I could make the experiment more reliable is to ensure the room temperature is the same before each measurement is taken.

...read more.

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