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# Physics IA CE - Investigating the resistance of a wire

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Introduction

Investigating the resistance of a wire.

In this experiment I collected data on various thicknesses of constantan wires to try and confirm the relationship: R ≈ l/A.

The independent variable in this experiment will be the thickness of the constantan wire and will be recorded according to its diameter.

The control variables will be the amount of voltage that is supplied(3 V) and the length of the constantan wire(10 cm ± 1 cm) to keep the test as fair as possible.

 Voltage – V/V Current – I/A Thickness - d/mm ±0.01 Trial 1 (t₁) Trial 2 (t₂) Trial 3 (t₃) Trial 1 (t₁) Trial 2 (t₂) Trial 3 (t₃) 0.15 0.54 0.53 0.52 0.69 0.66 0.66 0.20 0.45 0.47 0.45 0.46 0.44 0.46 0.30 0.38 0.40 0.40 1.10 1.20 1.20 0.38 0.26 0.25 0.27 1.10 1.10 1.10 0.47 0.29 0.30 0.30 1.60 1.60 1.60

Here is my raw data processing table, the table I created on a piece of paper to record my results, however there are no averages or uncertainties which make these results unreliable to look at.

The uncertainty for the thickness of the wire, was given by the instrument used to measure its diameter.

Middle

Trial 1

(t₁)

Trial 2

(t₂)

Trial 3

(t₃)

Trial Avg

(tavg)

Trial 1

(t₁)

Trial 2

(t₂)

Trial 3

(t₃)

Trial Avg

(tavg)

0.15

0.54

0.53

0.52

0.53

0.69

0.66

0.66

0.67

0.20

0.45

0.47

0.45

0.46

0.46

0.44

0.46

0.45

0.30

0.38

0.40

0.40

0.39

1.10

1.20

1.20

1.17

0.38

0.26

0.25

0.27

0.26

1.10

1.10

1.10

1.10

0.47

0.29

0.30

0.30

0.30

1.60

1.60

1.60

1.60

To find the resistance of the wire, I took the voltage and divided it by the current. I did it for each trial and the average to keep the results consistent. To find the percentage uncertainty of the Resistance, I had to divide the uncertainty of the voltage by one of the values and multiply it by 100 to find the

Conclusion

The results from this experiment could have been more accurate if a wider range of wire thicknesses had been used, there could have been more points created on the graph which would reduced the error of the line of best fit, also if more points were used then any errors and anomalies could have been removed/ignored. It would also be beneficial if there was another way of measuring the thickness and area of the wire as the margin of error is huge for humans like us. Also in the experiment the wires that are used to connect up the circuit could have been cleaned before the experiment as oxidation of the wire may have caused unnoticeable errors which could have affected the resistance of the wire.

Amit Ukani 6R3

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Physics section.

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