Resistance of a Wire

Resistance of a Wire

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Resistance of a Wire

Aim: - I hope to find out how resistance of a wire is affected.

Prediction: - I predict that as the length of the wire increases the
resistance will also increase.

Scientific Knowledge: -

A wire is a bundle of metal strips coated in plastic. The plastic can
vary in colour and connect to different terminals

These are: -

· Black = negative terminal

· Red = positive terminal

· Blue = neutral terminal

· Green and yellow = earth terminal

· Brown = live terminal

The material varies because it has free electrons, which are able to
flow through the wire. The number of the electrons depends on the
amount of electrons in the outer energy shell of the atoms, so if
there are more or larger atoms then there must be more electrons
available. If the material has a high number of atoms there will be a
high number of electrons causing a lower resistance because of the
increase in the number of electrons. Also if the atoms in the material
are closely packed then the electrons will have more frequent
collisions and the resistance will increase. Resistance is measured in
Ohm's (Ω).

Ohm's Law

The law actually says that the resistance of a metal conductor is the
same whatever the current - unless it's getting hotter. However most
people think of these equations when the law gets mentioned:

V = IR

V is Voltage in Volts, I is Current in Amps and R is resistance in

If the length of the wire is increased then the resistance will also
increase as the electrons will have a longer distance to travel and so
more collisions will occur. Due to this the length increase should be
proportional to the resistance increase. If the wires width is
increased the resistance will decrease. This is because of the
increase in the space for the electrons to travel through.

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Due to this
increased space between the atoms there should be less collisions.

Resistance is a force that acts against another it is also how hard it
is to get current to flow through a component at a certain voltage.
High resistance is hard for the current to flow. Low resistance is
easy for the current to flow.

Current is the flow of electrons. There are two types of current: -

· A.C. (Alternating Current) is where current changes direction
(alternates) continuously. The number of complete cycles of reversal
is called frequency. For mains electricity, the frequency is 50 cycles
per second (50 Hertz). We can use a C.P.O (Comparative Phosphor
Oscilloscope) to compare frequency and voltage.

· D.C (Direct Current) is where the current always flows in the same
direction. Cells and batteries supply a D.C. current.



1. Set up the circuit as shown above WITH THE POWER SWITCHED OFF

2. First use a piece of wire of one meter in length then move the
crocodile clips towards each other to the appropriate length; 90cm,
80cm 70cm, 60cm, 50cm, down to 10cm. This means you will have 10

3. Turn the power on to 2 volts, then take a reading of the ammeter
and the voltmeter

4. Before shortening wire to 90cm, allow two minutes for the wire to
cool down because it will be very hot to touch and it would also be a
unfair test.

5. Repeat the above until length is 10cm

6. Repeat the whole investigation for Reliability
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