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What Factors affect the resistance of a wire.

Extracts from this document...



Aim: What Factors affect the resistance of a wire.


     For this investigation we have to find out what are the factors that affect the resistance of a wire. We conducted several experiments to find this out.


  • Length of Wire
  • Thickness of Wire
  • Material of wire
  • Current
  • Temperature of the wire

      For this investigation, I will be increasing the length of the wire as my variable. The length of the wire is also an important factor. Long wires have more resistance when compared to short wires. The reason for this is in long wires the electrons have a larger surface to cover, which means it will take the electrons longer to travel from one end of the wire to the other. The reason for this is the collisions between the atoms and the electrons will be more frequent because there is a longer length for the electrons to travel therefore this means that there will be more atoms in the wire. Also the electrons have to squeeze together for a longer length of time in a long wire to be able to pass through the wire, whereas in a short wire the electrons only have to squeeze together for a short time. Long wires have a larger surface area that the electrons have to cover. Short wires have a small surface area that the electrons have to cover.

       Different types of wires have different thickness.

...read more.



1. Connect circuit as shown in the diagram.

2. Record voltage on voltmeter

3. Repeat the experiment with the following lengths of wire, connected between the two crocodile clips:

10cm ,20cm, 30cm, 40cm, 50cm, 60cm, 70cm, 80cm, 90cm, 100cm.

4. Use Ohm's law to find the resistance of the wire


          In this experiment, I will use different lengths of wires to measure their resistance. The main idea of doing the was to find a suitable current number to put the power supply on. I also wanted to do this experiment to familiarise myself further with the method; if I had any problems I could correct them there and then. This would mean I would obtain precise and reliable results in my main experiment when investigating the connection between the length of the wire and the resistance of the wire.

         First, the circuit was set up as shown below. I had to be careful in connecting circuit, because the Voltmeter had to be placed in parallel and the ammeter, which had to be placed in series. Draw up a rough table onto a piece of paper with the appropriate headings. The wire was cut to just over 50cm so the crocodile clips could attach onto the wire, making the results more accurate. Stretch out the wire onto the bench and measure with a metre rule. The power supply was put on 2V and the gradually increased the 4V, to find a suitable current for my main method.

...read more.


Further Work and Improvements

I do not think that doing any more results in our experiment would have made it any more accurate. I feel that the only way to make it more accurate would be to use a different method – perhaps were we had a bar that did not bend in place of the wire.

I will also think of using a different variable when I do this experiment again. Maybe change the material of the wire.

...read more.

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