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What factors change the resistance of a wire?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Attiyyah Khan 10N                4/30/07

Exam No. 8094

Physics AT1:

What factors change the resistance of a wire?

Task

Investigate the factors which change the resistance of a wire.

Knowledge

Resistance is a measure of how well a resistor/ component allows current to flow through. Conductors have a low resistance because they allow current to flow through easily. On the other hand insulators have high resistance because they do not allow currents to flow through easily. Resistors can be used to change the current in a circuit; you can use a variable resistor or a rheostat.

A resistor is a device that is commonly used. Resistors are used to have specific values of resistance. Resistance opposes the flow of electrons. They can also limit the amount of currents flowing through a circuit for a particular applied voltage.

Something with a high resistance, it is harder for the current to go through. This is because more energy is needed to be used to force electrons through it. Therefore heat is given off. Something with a low resistance lets electricity pass through it easily.

Factors that change the resistance of a wire:

  • Long wires have more resistance than short wires.
  • Thin wires have more resistance than thick wires.
  • Nichrome wire has more resistance than copper wires of the same size.

...read more.

Middle

Method

Apparatus: power pack, ammeter, light bulb, insulated wires, wire clips, 5 different thicknesses of nichrome wire, 5 different lengths of wire , ruler to measure the length of wire.

Thickness of wire

  1. I will set up the equipment as shown below:
  1. I will measure 15cm of the wire.
  2. I will then put the power pack on number 4 and then I will put the power on.
  3. I will check whether the circuit is working properly by checking if the light has lit up.
  4. I will then measure the current going through and then record my result.
  5.  I will repeat this procedure until I have all of the 5 different thicknesses of the wire.

Length of wire

  1. I will set up the equipment the same as above.
  2. I will measure 5 different lengths of wire; they are 160cm, 140cm, 12cm, 100cm and 80cm.
  3. I will then put the power pack on number 4 and then I will put the power on.
  4. I will check whether the circuit is working properly by checking if the light has lit up.
...read more.

Conclusion

I think that I done my experiment quite well because it was easy and it gave me the answers that I needed to know. I also think that it was fair because I made sure that I kept the length of the wire the same throughout and I also made sure that I kept the same amount of power going through the circuit at all times. I think my experiment was fair because I was quite aware of the consequences if I was not careful and accurate.

Although my experiment was quite successful I still feel that there were some weaknesses as well. I think that I should have repeated the experiment for the length 2 more times so than I could have got an accurate result.  I also feel that I should have measured the voltage flowing through the circuit using a voltmeter but I did not have the time to do this.

If I was to do this experiment again I would have made various changes to it. I would have repeated the procedure for length 2 more times than I could have got a more accurate result. I would have also measured the amount of voltage flowing through. This way I would learn more about the electrons flowing through the circuit.

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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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