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Certain unknown wire Essay

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To find out how resistivity changes as the length of wire is changed, and to find out the resistivity of a certain unknown wire. Equipment  Power Pack Ammeter Voltmeter  Crocodile clips  Wire  Metre rule Thermometer Method 1. Measure the diameter of wire using a micrometer, taking measurements in 3 different places along wire and take an average. 2. Take a piece of wire which is 100cm long, and attach t a metre rule. 3. Connect up wire to a power Pac, ammeter and voltmeter using crocodile clips and wires, to produce a circuit. 4. Vary the length of wire used in circuit by moving croc clips along the wire at 10cm intervals.

5. Record in a table the voltage and current for each of the 10cm intervals. 6. Find the resistance of wire for each recorded length, using the formula R= V/I 7. Repeat the whole method 3 times and find the average resistance of each length of wire. 8. Measure the temperature of the room with the thermometer and note this down. 9. Use the average diameter to calculate the cross-sectional area using A= ? (d/2)2 10. Plot resistance (y-axis) against length (x-axis). Draw in the line of best fit. 11. y=mx+c R= (? /A i?? length) + 0 Use gradient ? /A to calculate resistivity (? ). Safety.

Safety was one of my top priorities. I was cautious when measuring the voltage of the wire incase it became very hot. The voltage was not increased to above 2V as this would probably burn my hands or the metre rule, due to the heating effect of wire. Preliminary test It was necessary to carry out a preliminary test in order to familiarise with using the equipment, and also to help realise mistakes, so that they wouldn’t affect the real experiment. The experiment was set up as said so in my method. Preliminary Results Length of wire (m) Average resistance (? ).

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My results show me that as the length of the wire increases so does its resistance. In my actual experiment I will get 3 sets of results and calculate average in order to obtain precise readings. I found that I should use a low voltage in order to keep the heat generated as low as possible. Using a very high voltage could have burnt the wire or the lab unit. During the experiment the wire heats up, this causes more collisions between the electrons and the atoms as the atoms are moving into the path of the electrons.

This increase in collisions means that there will be an increase in resistance. So to eliminate this ‘extra’ resistance I will have to turn the power pack off after a while to let the wire cool down. I would also need to ensure that the crocodile clips were placed in the exact positions on wire e. g. 10, 20… cm etc. this would ensure reliable and more exact results. All these will have to be taken into account and will help me to minimize errors when calculating the resistivity of my unknown piece of wire. Prediction I predict that as the length of the wire increases, so too will its resistance.

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. So if the length is doubled the resistance should also double. This is because if the length is doubled the number of atoms will also double resulting in twice the number of collisions slowing the electrons down and increasing the resistance. My graph should show that the length is proportional to the resistance.

Resistance means the property of anything to constrict the flow of electrons (a current). The electrons that carry the energy within the metal wire collide with “obstacles” (atoms) inside the wire and change direction. (The atoms in the wire are obstacles to the electrons. ) This is known as scattering. This causes electrical resistance. Therefore, I can predict that the electrons will collide with the atoms, when the atoms have more energy, more often. The graph that I am expecting should look something like: Theory We define the resistance of a material as resistivity.

2 factors affect the resistance of a conductor are its length and its cross-sectional area. Resistance ? Length (Doubling length doubles resistance) Resistance ? 1 Area (Doubling the cross-sectional are halves the resistance) Resistivity can be measured using ? = AR L And R= ? L A Where: R = resistance P= Resistivity constant L= Length A=Area To find ? I am going t plot a graph of R against L. The gradient of the graph will allow me to calculate ?. The equation of the straight line is y= mx + c As the line will go through the origin c =o Therefore y= mx The Resistance will be the y-axis and Length will be the x-axis.

Therefore:- R= mi?? L As R= ? L The gradient of this is ? /A (excluding R and L) A So….. m=? /A ?= mA The area will be found by measuring the wires diameter and using the formula A=? (d/2)2 Section B- Results L (cm) VThe diameter of the wire was found using a micrometer. 1/mm 2/mm 3/mm Average/mm 0. 19 0. 19 0. 19 0. 19 Minimising Errors To minimise errors the following precautions were taken:  Method completed 3 times so that averages could be calculated. All results taken at same time so that temperature changes do not affect resistance Micrometer used to measure diameter of wire, as it can measure small distances accurately Meter ruler used to measure wires length accurately.

Power pack was turned off to cool inbetween readings so that the wire did not get hot and thus affect the reliability of my results at each value.  I also tried to minimise human error in the experiment, such as putting the crocodile clips on the exact lengths and recording the readings on the ammeter and voltmeter accurately. Section C- Analysis Calculation The cross sectional area of the wire is calculated using: A= ? (d/2)2.

So my value for resitivity of the wire according to my results is 39 i?? 10-8 My prediction was correct because I got a straight line on my graph and this shows that the length is proportional to the resistance and as the length of wire increases so does its resistance. I believe my experiment was good because Section D- Conclusion Analysis of errors Error in the area of the wire 1/mm 2/mm 3/mm Average/mm Range/mm 0.

Possible sources of error Systematic errors  There may be inaccuracies in the measuring equipment. It’s possible that the micrometer may have been damaged and may not have read the thickness of the wire accurately.  There may have been an error in measuring the location of the crocodile clips, and this may have lead to inaccurate results.  The voltmeter takes a small amount of current from the wire Random errors

The temperature of the wire and the room may have lead to increased or decreased resistances.  Thickness of the wire would not be constant, this would lead to different resistance values in different parts of the wire. Unknown material of wire  The power supply may not have been constant. Improvements  Errors in meters- use 3 different meters to check current, and voltage values  Location of crocodile clips- use pointers instead of clips to get accurate measurements Some current flows through the voltmeter- I could have used an oscilloscope as it has a very high resistance so current will not go through voltmeter.

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