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Elastictvy of Copper investigation

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Elasticity of Copper investigation

In this experiment I will investigate how the extension e of a length of copper wire changes as the stretching force F is increase. The question I will be answering is: “If a wire whose original length was L is subjected to a stretching force F then will the wire increase in length by the amount e

The aim of this experiment is to investigate how the extension of a length of wire is affected by the force. I will then find stress and strain after finding these variables, for which I can finally complete my objective which is to find the young's modulus for the material, in this case copper wire. My aim is to measure the extension in a piece of copper while consider safety precautions and accuracy. For the experiment I will have to also consider the accuracy of both my equipment and the degree of accuracy for my results. Furthermore I will have to find a suitable range of results so that I can form a reliable basis for my conclusion, also so to allow me to show a clear set of results on a graph so that I can identity the trend.

Hypothesis I predict that when a wire is subjected to a stretching force, in this case wire being pulled by the force of weight, then the wire likely to be stretched.

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5. The loads was increased steadily while the results were recorded in each stage

The Potentional problems which may come are:

  • The wire may slip from the clamp hold and result in varied results
  • The exposure to the weights may not be consistent and result in wrong results  

To measure the wire I used Vernier callipers


Actual Results:

For Thin Wire. Initial area of 0.37












1.2 x1012






1.8 x1012






2.7 x1012






3.6 x1012






1.27 x1013






2.91 x1013






4.97 x1013






8.42 x1013






1.01 x1014

Thick Wire : Initial area of 0.57





...read more.


Another problem was that I was unable to use Searle’s apparatus to conduct the experiment because it was too complicated and there was insufficient place to make the wire longer than 1 m long.

The final problem that occurred was the length of wire. While doing the experiment we found it better to not measure from the end of pulley. We instead measured just before the pulley by 35cm however did not compensate for this and so therefore the overall length that we measuring decreased from 2m to 1.65m.

However, there are a few ways in which my experiment could have been improved to make the validity of the investigation a lot better. Here are a few improvements I would suggest that I make:

>Repeat readings- If I was to repeat the readings I would be able to gather a better range of results and get more reliable results. Also by repeating them I can ensure that I pick the right method to conduct the experiment with more accuracy

Also I think that I could change the length of the wire I used in repeating the experiment. with this it would allow me to get a better range of results.

Also I need to find a better way or reading indentifying the break point of the wire

Another improvement might be to use a greater range of materials which may give a better insight into the stress and strain/Young modulus theory

Finally I think that I could use a different method to record the way I get the results/readings more accurately

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Fields & Forces section.

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