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What is the resistance in a wire?

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What is the resistance in a wire?


By Kapil Ramburn



Resistance is a force that tends to oppose or retard motion. Resistance in a circuit is measured in ohms (Ω). The resistance in a wire can be measured by this formula:

Resistance (Ω) = voltage (V)/current (A)


The symbol for voltage is V. It is measured in units of Volts V

The symbol for current is I. It is measured in units of Amps A

The symbol for resistance is R. It is measured in units of Ohms

Fact: In a parallel circuit the current flow easier out of the battery making the resistor lower than a series circuit. And a thin wire has more resistance than a thick wire as it has more space for the electrons to move faster.

Useful fact:

  1. Metals have free electrons that can move easily.
  2. Energy is transferred in the form of heat because collisions.
  3. The greater number of collision, the greater the resistance.

        The three factors affecting the resistance in a wire are

  1. The voltage given to circuit
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By the research and predictions I have done I have decided to test the resistance in different length of wire because the class is resourceful as it has enough wire for everyone, it has all the apparatus needed, all the equipment and materials are readily available and we have enough space in class to do the practical experiment. My prediction is “the longer the length, the higher the resistance would be”. I would be sure the results would be the same because I have been researching on the length on some books and sites. I know that I will get a graph showing the resistance going diagonally showing the wire length on the x-axis and average resistance on the y-axis. I have repeated my results to get a fair average test on my graph. To make my experiment fair I am going to vary the length of the wire to get a different answer for each of them so that I could prove my prediction. I will keep

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  1. ammeter
  2. voltmeter
  3. wire
  4. power
  5. Croc. Clips
  6. variable resistor
  7. connection clips


  1. get apparatus
  2. connect apparatus as shown on diagram on page 3
  3. measure wire
  4. 100cm, 80cm, 60cm, 40cm and 20cm
  5. connect 100 to circuit then look at voltage and current amount
  6. write results down
  7. write two more results
  8. start again from #5 but use 80cm, 60cm, 40cm and 20
  9. write everything down like the chart that I have done on page 4


  1. resistance wires may get hot enough to burn your skin which may be very dangerous
  2. large current might burn plastic on wire to give off toxic fumes


Through all those experiment, chart and graph I have made I have found that my prediction turned up right which is “the longer the wire, the bigger the resistance”. I have fully understood the calculation and the way resistance work in a circuit. The results that I have required gave me proof that the length of the wire affects the resistance

...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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