Investigating How The Resistance Of A Wire Changes With Length
The aim of this investigation is to reveal that the factor of length affects the overall resistance. So when changing the length of the conductor does resistance increase or decrease.
I predict that as the length of the wire decreases so will the resistance. This is because through a shorter length of wire would allow more current to move through at a higher rate than a longer wire.
When the wire increases then the resistance will increase also. This is because as there is more and more wire there are more obstacles for the electrons to go around.
In my investigation however, relating with the certain lengths I expect twenty centimetres of wire to resolve in the lowest of resistance. Whereas, the length one hundred centimetres, I expect to carry the highest resistance. Therefore I expect more current to flow through on the shortest piece of wire.
Current flows through a circuit. Resistance is any opposition that prevents current from flowing through a circuit. Resistance is measured in ohms. The way to work out resistance is by this formula: R= V/I. There are many factors that cause and change resistance. Such as temperature, when the particles are heated they receive more energy causing them to vibrate and agitate. This causes more obstacle and obstruction for the electrons to easily pass through. When represented with a longer wire, resistance will increase. This is because it takes much more time for an electron to pass through. A shorter wire will allow current to pass through at a much higher rate. Resistance is also affected by cross sectional area. The wider the wire is the more electrons will pass through at any one time. But length is the most important one in this experiment.
As you can see from the diagram the shorter wire allows more electrons to pass through it at a higher rate. The longer wire though, the electrons are still travelling through the circuit not allowing them to rapidly conduct.
For this experiment I used...
*Wires (with crocodile clips.)
This diagram of the experiment.
This particular experiment consists of changing the length of the wire to see the change and affect it has on the resistance. I plan to the take readings current when the voltage is at two, four, six and eight. So I am also changing the voltage, electrical push, as well to find an average resistance.
The dependant variables of this experiment will most obviously be the resistance changing as the length does.
To make this a fair test there are certain control variables. These make the experiment a fair test. This involves keeping the same temperature of the wire. Heat on the atomic or molecular scale is a direct representation of the vibration of the...
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Investigating How Different Lengths of Wire Affect the Resistance in a Circuit
- Length: 944 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
Investigating How Different Lengths of Wire Affect the Resistance in a Circuit
Hypothesis: I predict that; the longer the wire, the more resistance
there will be. So if the length of the wire were to double, so would
the resistance. The reason for my prediction is: The flow of electrons
is called a current, the electrons are constantly hitting atoms, which
causes resistance. If the same amount of current is passed through a
longer piece of wire, there will be more collisions, hence more
The more resistance there is, the more volts would be needed to push
the current around the circuit, so the longer the wire, the higher the
current. I can check the voltage, current and resistance to prove that
my hypothesis is correct by using ohms law which is V=I*R (V=volts,
I=amps and R = resistance). I can re-arrange this formula to find the
resistance by saying R=V/I, so when I record my results, I should
divide the volts by the current to give me the resistance. The voltage
and the resistance are directly proportional.
A thin piece of wire attached to a wooden ruler.
Connecting wires with crocodile clips.
A power pack.
Step 1: I will set up a circuit with a power pack, a voltammeter, and
Step 2: I will attach a piece of thin wire to a meter long ruler.
Step 3: I will have one plastic coated wire fixed to where the thin
wire is at 0cm on the meter stick.
Step 4: I will then crocodile clip the other plastic coated wire to my
first chosen length on the thin wire which is attached to the meter
Step 5: I will record the length, the reading on the voltammeter and
the reading on the ammeter, and then work out the resistance, using
ohms law (dividing the volts by the amps).
Step 6: I will then repeat this using different lengths each time, and
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Wire Affect Lengths Circuit Meter Pack Thin Stick Step Repeat Voltage
recording my results in a table.
Here is a diagram of what the experiment should look like:
To keep this Investigation fair I must make sure that: the cross
sectional area on each different length wire is the same, as the
thickness of a wire effects the resistance and therefore would make my
results inaccurate. I must also ensure that the material of each wire
is the same as different materials can also affect resistance. The
temperature of the wire must be kept the same, as temperature affects
resistance, I can ensure that the wire is kept at the same temperature
by using a thermostat. The source of energy and set up of the circuit
must be kept the same throughout each experiment. To ensure that my
results are accurate I will repeat each experiment 3-4 times.
When dealing with electricity it is important to take some safety
precautions. To keep safe whilst doing the Investigation, water and
liquid substances should be kept away from the experiment, as water is
a conductor of electricity, and if spilt could result in accidents. If
a current is running through a small wire, the wire could over heat,
so the bare wire should there-for not be touched whilst the current is
(All numbers have been rounded to 2 decimal places.)
Analysis: I can see from my graph showing the average resistance in
relation to the length of each wire, that there is a strong positive
correlation between the length and the resistance in a wire. The
longer the wire, the higher the resistance. This proves my hypothesis
correct. All my points are close to my line of best fit, showing no
abnormalities or major exceptions to this theory. However from my
individual results tables you can see that the resistance did not
always increase with the length. For example on my first try of
results, 20 cm had a higher resistance than 25 cm, and 35 cm had a
higher resistance than 40 cm and 45 cm. I can't find any obvious
reasons for this, and these minor hitches in results occur throughout
all of the tries .Unfortunately a thermostat was not available for our
experiment so the temperature may have varied, which could be one of
the reasons that the resistance was occasionally higher in the shorter
wire, as heat raises resistance. After looking at the results of the
averages, I can see that 35 cm had a higher resistancy than 40 cm, I
do not understand that why on average, that was the case, although it
was by only a small amount (0.6) and may have just been a fault whilst
doing the experiment or the heat of the wire may have changed
significantly from 40 cm to 35 cm, increasing the resistance. Apart
from these minor defects, the results were as I expected, and I am
satisfied with the out come of the experiment.
Evaluation: Although I was pleased with my investigation, if I were to
do it again I would use a thermostat as it would improve the accuracy
of my results. I would have also liked to have investigated into the
ways in which the thickness of a wire, the different materials and the
different temperatures affected the resistance, as I think it would
have been interesting to have then compared them and seen which
qualities affected the resistance the most. although I understand that
there was not enough time on this particular occasion. Overall I
understand how and why I got my results, and have the evidence to back
up my prediction which was "The longer the wire the higher the
resistance" and by looking at my results table and graph you can tell
this is usually the case. I think if I was given the chance to do this
experiment again, I would take it more times than 4, as it would give
me a more definite piece of evidence to back up my prediction, and I
may find out a more subtle trend or pattern in my results.