Conductors have resistance, but some are worse than others. The free electrons keep bumping into atoms. A wire's resistance depends on four main factors:. I will investigate how the length of the wire affects the resistance. I have done a preliminary experiment to help me decide the best way to do my investigation. The results will help me make predictions, as well. Below are my results from the preliminary experiment see Table 1. To ensure accuracy, I have taken three readings each of volts and current.
These results show that as the length of the wire increases, the resistance increases, as well.
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Furthermore, if you double the length of the wire, the resistance is roughly doubled. For example, when the length of the wire is 20cm the resistance is 3. In my main investigation I will see if this observation applies to my results. I found that the apparatus I used was suitable, but I think that I could possibly increase the number of data points to generate more reliable results, perhaps by increasing the length of the wire by 5cm each time, instead of by 10cm. I predict that the longer the wire, the larger the resistance.
This is because the free electrons in the wire bump into more atoms, thereby making it harder for electricity to flow.
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Similarly, the shorter the wire, the smaller the resistance because there will be fewer atoms for the electrons to bump into, thereby easing the flow of electricity. Furthermore, the resistance of a wire is directly proportional to the length and inversely proportional to the area, so doubling the length of a wire should increase the resistance by a factor of two. This is because if the length of the wire is doubled, the electrons bump into twice as many atoms, so there will be twice as much resistance. If this is correct, the graph should show a positive correlation.
First, I will collect the apparatus I need and set it up as shown in Diagram 1, below. Next, I will set the power pack on the lowest voltage possible to ensure that the current passing through the circuit isn't too high which could potentially affect the results because the wire would get too hot. I will place one crocodile clip at 0cm on the wire and the other at 5cm to complete the circuit. I will then turn the power pack on and record what voltmeter and ammeter readings.
I will switch off the power pack, move the crocodile clip that was at 5cm up to 10cm, and switch on the power pack. Again, I will record the voltmeter and ammeter readings and turn off the power pack.
- Preliminary Investigation.
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I will repeat this method every 5cm until I get up to cm, taking three readings from both the voltmeter and ammeter each time to ensure accuracy. To ensure accuracy I will record the voltage and the current three times every 5cm and take the average reading.
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This will reduce the chance of false readings and will cancel out any anomalous results. I will also ensure that the wire does not heat up too much by confirming that I do not set the voltage too high on the power pack and by maintaining the same the voltage for every reading. In addition, I will make sure I turn the power pack off after each reading. I will try to make this investigation as accurate as possible.
There are different variables that can be changed in this experiment; these are the independent variable. However, due to my line of enquiry, I will only change the length of the wire. The variables I will control will be the type of wire resistivity and the cross-sectional area of the wire. I will also control, using the power pack, how many volts pass through the wire.
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Below is a table illustrating the effect of changing the variables see Table 2 :. I will ensure experimental safety by confirming that all the wires are connected properly and that none of the insulation on the wires is worn. I will also ensure that there is a clear indication that the power is isolated by means of a switch and an L. I will stand up during the investigation to ensure that I do not injure myself if something breaks. Below is a table of my results Table 3. I have taken three reading and have worked out the average, shown in red.
Table 3 shows that as the length of the wire increases, the resistance increases, as well. This confirms the first part of my prediction: that the longer the wire the larger the resistance. In addition, my prediction that doubling the length of the wire increases the resistance by a factor of two is correct see Table 4. Graphing these results shows a nearly straight line, illustrating a strong positive correlation between length and resistance, which is consistent with my prediction.
Overall, my results are very consistent with my predictions.
Most of the data points were on, or very close to, the line of best fit. There are a few data points that are farther away from the line of best fit than the others, but they are still consistent with the general trend. Several lecturers permit their students develop their knowledge by allowing them to experiment alongside look at a topic to be claimed back again at school.
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There are, all the same, two problematic areas that most of Physics resistance GCSE coursework writers struggle with. These components are Data Presentation in addition to Content Interpretation. Information Presentation is a fraction of Physics coursework exactly where students just affirm the engineered results.