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Thickness of a wire preliminary investigation

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Preliminary Investigation

Thickness of a wire


To find out how the thickness of a wire affects the resistance of a wire.


I predict that as the thickness of the wire increases, the resistance of the wire will decrease because the electrons will have more space to move, so there is less chance of the electrons colliding with the ions because there are gaps between the ions, which therefore results in the resistance to decrease.  


     22 S.W.G                                                 30 S.W.G

The diagram above shows how ionic arrangement in a wire varies with thickness.  In the thinner wire (22 s.w.g) the ions are packed together, so when they vibrate there are more collisions with the electrons, because there are less gaps between ions so therefore the resistance in higher.  Whereas in the thicker wire (30 s.w.g)

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The thickness will go up two’s from 22 SWG to 24 SWG, 26 SWG, 26 SWG, 28 SWG, and 30 SWG.  Remember to take care when taking readings from the ammeter or voltmeter, the voltage is read off the top scale and the ampage is read off the bottom scale. Repeat the process of increasing the thickness of the wire, and recording the results.


Thickness Of A wire

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The preliminary will allow me to design the actual investigation, as we will be using the same apparatus and the same method; the only factor that will be changing is the length of the wire.  My Preliminary investigation is also similar to my actual investigation because in the actual investigation to discover the relationship between thickness of the wire and the resistance, whereas in the actual investigation I will be looking to establish if there is a relationship between length of wire and resistance.  This Preliminary investigation has allowed me to find out the best thickness to use in my actual investigation, and in my actual investigation I will be seeing how the length of the wire affects the resistance.  Avariable resistor was included in the circuit to increase the circuit resistance so as to reduce the current and prevent overheating which may damage the components.  A variable resistor also enables me to control the voltage across the wire more easily.

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