# Resistance in a Wire

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More ↓Introduction:

=============

Metals conduct electricity because the atoms in them do not hold on to

their electrons very well, and so creating free electrons, carrying a

negative charge to jump along the line of atoms in a wire. Resistance

is caused when these electrons flowing towards the positive terminal

have to 'jumps' atoms. So if we double the length of a wire, the

number of atoms in the wire doubles, so the number of jumps double, so

twice the amount of energy is required: There are twice as many jumps

if the wire is twice as long.

The thinner the wire is the less channels of electrons in the wire for

current to flow, so the energy is not spread out as much, so the

resistance will be higher. We see that if the area of the wire doubles

so does the number of possible routes for the current to flow down,

therefore the energy is twice as spread out, so the resistance might

halve.

Aim:

To find out how changing the length of the wire changes the

resistance.

Preliminary Work:

I did a preliminary experiment to find out the current and voltage

characteristics using a test circuit. The component was a filament

lamp. I did this to show that if the wires heats up with increased

voltage and current, the atoms inside the wire vibrate which makes it

harder for the electrons to pass through, therefore increasing the

resistance.

This is a test circuit I used. The ammeter measures the current

flowing through the circuit and the voltmeter measures the volts

flowing through the circuit. To work out the resistance I used the

equation V = IR. V - volts, I - current and R - resistance. I plotted

the graph V vs. I. It was a curved graph which showed me that R

(resistance) increased as the filament in the bulb got hotter. I also

found out the longer you leave the cell on, the higher the resistance

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harder for electrons to pass through.

Prediction:

I predict that as the length of the wire increases so will the

resistance. The current is the flow of electrons; the current is

dependant on the amount of voltage, which is applied. Voltage is the

push given to the current. The current has to go through a circuit,

which contains resistance so if you increase the push you also

increase the flow of current.

Apparatus:

1 metre ruler. I piece of wire over a metre long. 1 power pack. Wires.

Crocodile clips. Ammeter. Voltmeter.

Variables

I will keep the same piece of wire for the whole experiment, I will

vary the length of wire which I allow current to pass trough by

adjusting the crocodile clips. I will take three different results for

each different length of wire that the electrons pass through and then

take an average to try and avoid any anomalous results.

method

Method:

1. Set up apparatus as shown above.

2. Move the crocodile clip so that the length of the wire which the

electrons will flow through is 20 cm.

3. Turn the power pack on and record the voltage and current.

4. Work out the resistance using the equation V/I = R (voltage divided

by current equals resistance.)

5. Repeat this 2 more times and record an average for both voltage and

current.

6. Repeat steps 2- 5 increasing the length of the wire by 10cm each

time until the length is 100cm.

Results:

Conclusion:

I worked out the resistance of the wires by using the formula:

V/I = R or v = I x R

While moving through the wire, the electrons need to squeeze together.

This is because there is not enough room/space for them to pass evenly

through. The more the electrons have to bump together then the higher

the resistance. This is because it will take longer for them to pass

from one side of the wire to the other side. This is because the

current is slowed down. (The longer the wire, the longer the electrons

have to stay squashed together, and so the longer they take to pass

through the wire and the higher the resistance.

Ohm's law states that the current flowing through the circuit is

directly proportional to the voltage applied. (If you double one, you

double the other.)

Evaluation:

The experiment proved to be a success and it went very well although

it could be improved by trying other lengths, different voltages but

also a different type of wire to be able to compare the resistance

difference. This would make a more interesting experiment.