Resistance Investigation

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Resistance Investigation Introduction Electricity is something we have all around us every day but we never really think about it, even though it is such an important part of ours life’s. What is electricity? Before investigating the resistance of different metals it is important to understand the principal of electricity. Electricity is formed by the movement or flow of electrons being attracted away from their atoms by an applied force. This is easier to do with the some elements than with others. All atoms are made up of a central nucleus containing a number of positively charged protons and some have neutral charged neutrons this overhaul positive charge of the nucleus is counter balanced with negatively charged electrons that orbit the nucleus in layers or shells, this gives the atom an overhaul neutral charge. In some materials the electrons in the outer shell are only just hanging on by a very weak bond and can move around at random between atoms of the same material these are called free electrons. If a positive charge is applied to the material the free electrons will be attracted towards it pulling them away from their atoms these atoms it turn will become positively charged and will attract free electrons away from other atoms, this will create a flow of electrons, this flow is called current. Some types of structures are called non-conductive (some plastics and ceramics), and some are called conductive (metals). An atom with the least amount of free electrons in its outer orbit is called an insulator (non-conductive) an atom with many free electrons in its outer orbit are more conductive (conductors). Non-conductive characteristics are the molecular makeup of insulators. Conductive characteristics are the molecular makeup of conductors containing many free electrons in its outer orbit. An example of an atom that allows many free electrons and readily looses or gains it total number of free electrons makes it a good conductor of electrons and would have a conductive property similar to copper.

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