Investigating How Length and Width of Copper Wire Affect the Current of a Circuit

Investigating How Length and Width of Copper Wire Affect the Current of a Circuit

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Investigating How Length and Width of Copper Wire Affect the Current of a Circuit

Task: To investigate how length and width of copper wire affect on the
current of a circuit.

Prediction:

In this experiment, the input variable will be changing the length of
the copper wire used in the experiment, and also the SWG of the wire,
which means the width of the wire. By changing this variable, the
current the circuit will vary.

With my knowledge in science and some research on the factors that
affect a circuit's resistance. I am able to predict that the copper
wires which will measure 33cm, 66cm and 99cm will have resistances
which will increase as the wire gets longer, so therefore the 33cm
wire will have less resistance because there is a shorter length for
the current to travel thorough it. This basically means that fewer
collisions will happen between the atoms that form the wire and the
electrons of the current around the circuit. Another factor which
affects resistance, is the period of time that the atoms have to
squeeze together through the wire, for example the 33cm wire will be
the wire that the electricity atoms will be the least amount of time
traveling through. There aren't only collisions between the atoms in
the wire with the atoms of the electric circuit, the atoms in the
circuit also collide with each other, so there will be less resistance
because there will be less collisions because it is a shorter
distance. So due to lengths of wires affecting the current through a
circuit, I predict that the 99cm wire will have the largest
resistance, therefore making the current smaller around the circuit.

The other factor which affects resistance that will be tested in this
experiment, is the width of the wire. The width of a wire is measured
and displayed in SWG. I will be using copper wire of 14, 18, 22, 26
and 28 SWG. The fact that the atoms in the circuit squeeze together
when passing through the wire, makes me able to predict that the wider

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Related Searches

the wire, the more number of electrons can pass through it. Simply
meaning that the thinner the wire, the highest the resistance, because
less atoms will pass through it at the same time. So this makes the
current around the circuit smaller. This is easily explained in the
drawing on the next page.


[IMAGE][IMAGE]

Diagram for experiment:

Plan>>>

1- Put on goggles to protect eyes from wires

2- Setup the diagram above

3-Turn on the power pack at 6 volts, and check on the digital multi
reader that this voltage is achieved, because the power pack can often
be inaccurate.

4-Take readings of the circuit's current, using the digital multi
reader, after reading is taken turn the power pack off for 15 seconds,
so energy is conserved and the wire doesn't overheat, then take all
necessary readings.

5-After all readings are taken with the 14 SWG wire at 33cm, 66cm and
99cm, repeat the experiments with the 18, 22, 26 and 28 SWG wires, it
is an option to coil the wires, this is done simply to save space on a
surface, and does not affect the current.

Results table:

Exp. #

33cm

66cm

99cm

Diameter in SWG

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

18

7.06

7.01

7.06

7.05

6.91

6.73

6.85

6.83

6.59

6.64

6.61

6.66

Avrg.

7.045

Avrg.

6.83

Avrg.

6.625

22

5.48

5.44

5.46

5.48

5.34

5.39

5.33

5.35

4.87

4.83

4.81

4.78

Avrg.

5.46

Avrg

5.35

Avrg.

4.82

26

3.52

3.51

3.55

3.57

3.42

3.42

3.46

3.45

2.97

2.93

2.98

2.81

*All readings are in amps, in a circuit with a voltage of 6 volts


Evaluation

1. Do you think your experiment was accurate? Was it a fair test?

In my opinion, my experiment wasn't as accurate as it could be,
various factors can affect the resistance a wire in a circuit. For
example the room temperature in the laboratory could have been
slightly different if there was a window open or if maybe the
air-conditioning, the changes in air temperatures might have been
un-noticeable, but small factors can change the results, maybe the
current around the circuit could have gone up or down by a fraction of
ohms. A pattern of increase in resistance as the wire grew longer and
got thinner still appears, but the exact measurements could have been
more precise. Considering this problem, I don't think my experiment
was too fair, also because it's often a case when maybe the voltmeters
and ammeters could have been calibrated slightly differently, because
I obviously could not have found the same ones from a previous lesson
of this same series of experiments, or I simply did not think this
might have affected precise readings. Another small problem could have
been that crocodile clips and their positions on the wires which may
not have been of their desired precise measurements have changed
reading by maybe 0.1 of an ohm? Well, it is certainly difficult to
undertake such experiments as these in the conditions a
non-sophisticated school laboratory provides.

2. Were there any results that didn't fit in with others? Could you
explain why?

As I wrote before, the conditions of the laboratory and its equipment
may not have been up to the high standards of a scientist's
organization's lab, so therefore I managed to spot that three readings
in my experiments seemed to be too different from the other set of
results in the same experiment. Out of place result number one was
experiment #1 in the 66cm/18 SWG, its reading was of 6.91 ohms, and
also experiment number two in the same group showed a reading of 6.73
ohms. Another experiment was also out of place from its group's
results, it was experiment #4 in the 99cm/26 SWG group of readings, it
showed a result which was 2.81 ohms. In question number two I conclude
that these three out of place results caused the average result in the
series to be imprecise, meaning that I should not have included it in
my averages box. Maybe the laboratory was of good standard but I maybe
took those three results wrongly and should have been more careful
about my setup of the diagram at those precise times.

3. Was your experiment suitable to answer your task?

The aim of the task was to "Investigate how length and width of copper
wire affect on the current of a circuit", so I cannot see a reason why
my experiment wasn't the most suitable way of answering the aim of the
investigation.

4. How could you improve your experiment?

Because of the various factors that affected my results, I could have
used an environment with temperature control, so at least this fact
could have been improved on. Another thing that could have been
improved was the way my apparatus was set up, the wires were not
suspended in the air while my readings were taken, so maybe the
readings could have changed slightly if they were not on a wooden
table, even though wood doesn't conduct electricity or did 6 volts of
power cause the wire to overheat and maybe burn the table and affect
the precision of how much the wire resisted the current because of
heat transfer to the wood bellow it

5. What further work could you do to back up what you have found out?

As usual, research is a powerful weapon that helps beginner level
scientists to back up what they have found out. I could look at
various books and quote example readings if I do happen to see the
same experiment being shown. I could also read the topic and found out
what factors affect on the resistance of a wire, so I could have been
more careful to avoid factors which are not variables in my
experiments, such as the air temperature which affects on the
resistance but wasn't included in my experiment.

6. Describe another experiment you could do to answer the task

After having carefully researched the internet, I managed to see
instructions of how to undertake a experiment with the same basis as
mine, but this experiment was easier to do and also seemed to me to be
more accurate. In this experiment there was only one wire, but the
only variable in the experiment was the increasing and decreasing of
the voltage put in the current, so therefore it was easier to take
readings when wires and lengths of them had to be too accurate and
precise like in my experiment

Conclusion

I conclude that in this experiment I have proven and found out that
the length and width of copper wire have affected the resistance in a
6 volts circuit, the difference in ohm readings in clearly shown this.

Bibliography:

*Google.com internet searches, leading to different scientifically
related websites.

*Nelson 1 text book
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