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Why Is There More Resistance In A Longer Piece Of Wire?

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Introduction

Why Is There More Resistance In A                                              Longer Piece Of Wire?

Aim:

To find out if there is more resistance in a longer piece of wire when compared with a shorter piece of wire.

Prediction Factors:

Wire length: If the length of the wire is increased then the resistance will also increase as the electrons will have a longer distance to travel and so more collisions between atoms will occur. Due to this the length increase should be proportional to the resistance increase.

Wire width: If the wires width is increased the resistance will decrease. This is because of the increase in the space for the electrons to travel through. Due to this increased space between the atoms there should be less collisions. Temperature: If the wire is heated up the atoms in the wire will start to vibrate because of their increase in energy. This causes more collisions between the electrons and the atoms because the atoms are moving into the path of the electrons. This increase in collisions means that there will be an increase in resistance. Material: The type of material will affect the amount of free electrons that are able to flow through the wire. If the material has a high number of atoms there will be high number of electrons causing a lower resistance.

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Middle

Resistance (ohms)

5.00

0.06

0.15

0.40

5.00

0.08

0.20

0.40

5.00

0.10

0.25

0.40

5.00

0.12

0.30

0.40

5.00

0.14

0.35

0.40

Wire Length (cm)

Voltage (volts)

Current (amps)

Resistance (ohms)

10.00

0.11

0.15

0.73

10.00

0.14

0.20

0.70

10.00

0.18

0.25

0.72

10.00

0.22

0.30

0.73

10.00

0.26

0.35

0.74

Wire Length (cm)

Voltage (volts)

Current (amps)

Resistance (ohms)

15.00

0.16

0.15

1.06

15.00

0.21

0.20

1.05

15.00

0.26

0.25

1.04

15.00

0.32

0.30

1.06

15.00

0.37

0.35

1.05

Wire Length (cm)

Voltage (volts)

Current (amps)

Resistance (ohms)

20.00

0.21

0.15

1.40

20.00

0.29

0.20

1.45

20.00

0.36

0.25

1.44

20.00

0.43

0.30

1.43

20.00

0.49

0.35

1.40

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Conclusion

Using higher currents so that the temperature does increase could extend the investigation. This could be undertaken to prove that, as the temperature does get higher the graph for the results begins to curve at the end. I included my calculations for the resistivity of the wire as it shows that my results were accurate. I measured the gradient of my straight-line graph as it gives me the best possible average of results omitting any slight anomalous results. This shows that my conclusion about resistance being proportional to the length is very reliable.

If the same experiment were carried out the same factors would apply. If you wanted to change a different variable I would change wire width. For this I predict that as the wire width get small then the more closely packed the electrons are. This would create more collisions so there would be more resistance. If the wire width is increased the resistance will decrease. This is because of the increase in the space for the electrons to travel through. Due to this increased space between the electrons there should be less collisions.

By Luke Howard

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