Measuring Young's Modulus of Copper


To study the stress/strain behavior of copper wire and approximate the Young’s modulus of copper


Copper wire s.w.g. 32 about 4 m.

G-clamp? 1.

Wooden block? 2.

Metre rule? 4.

Wheel on clamp? 1.

Micrometer screw gauge? 1.

Hanger (0.01 kg)? 1.

Slotted mass (0.05 kg)? 8.

Slotted mass (0.1 kg)? 6.

Slotted mass (0.2 kg)? 4.

Slotted mass (0.5 kg)? 1.

White label sticker label? 1.

Safety goggles? 1.

Rubber tile? 1.


When a force F is applied to the end of a wire with cross-sectional area A along its length, the tensile tension =.

If the extension of the wire is? l, and its original length is lo, the tensile stress =.

Under elastic conditions, a modulus of flexibility of a wire, called the Young modulus E, is defined as the ratio of the tensile tension used to a body to the tensile pressure produced. where E is expressed in N m-2 or Pascal (Pa).

E is a continuous when? l is small according to the Hooke’s Law which mentioned that the tension used to any solid is proportional to the pressure it produces for little stress.

Get quality help now
Sweet V
Verified writer

Proficient in: Copper

4.9 (984)

“ Ok, let me say I’m extremely satisfy with the result while it was a last minute thing. I really enjoy the effort put in. ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

For that reason, when a product has a bigger the worth of E, it withstands to the flexible contortion strongly and a large tension is required to produce a small stress. E is hence a procedure of the flexible tightness of a material.

Nevertheless, when the extension (deformation) of the wire is too big, beyond proportional limit, strong will no longer obey Hooke’s law i.e. E is no longer a consistent.

As the tension additional boosts, beyond the flexible limit, the wire has a long-term extension that the wire is no longer elastic and it goes through plastic deformation.

Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
Number of pages
Email Invalid email

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Write my paper

You won’t be charged yet!

The extension increases quickly as the force on the wire is even more increased. The wire elongates and breaks. The tension right before the wire breaks is called the breaking stress.


Set-up of the device.

1. The device was set up on the bench top as revealed below.

– The wire was firmly secured by utilizing a G-clamp so that it does not slip.

– A white label sticker label was repaired on to the copper wire to act as a marker such that it has to do with 50 cm from the sheave.

– A metre guideline was repaired alongside the wire with the maker for determining the extension.

Performance of the experiment

1. The hanger was tied to the end of the wire so as to straighten out the kinks in the wire and the unstretched length (lo) of the wire from the edges of the wooden blocks up to the marker was measured.

2. A micrometer screw gauge was used to measure the diameter of the wire at different angles for each of the 8 location along the wire.

3. The wire was loaded with slotted mass m in

steps of 0.10kg and then 0.05kg and the extensions ?l after each loading were recorded until the wire broke.

Data table:

Original length of wire lo = (3.000 � 0.001) m

Percentage error in lo=

Diameter of the wire (mm)









Average diameter of the wire = (0.240 � 0.005) mm

Percentage error in d =

Readings for the graph:

Load m / kg








Extension ?l / mm








Load m / kg








Extension ?l / mm








Data analysis:

Young’s modulus,

where F is the tension in the wire and A is the cross-section area

Since and

From the graph, the slope of the best fit line through the points of the straight line portion of the graph,

Assume that the cross-sectional area did not vary as the stress increased.

Errors & accuracy:

From the graph,

the slope of the best fit line:

the maximum slope:

the minimum slope:

Deviations: m+ – m = 12.1

Deviations: m – m- = 26.0

The maximum error in slope = larger of the deviations = 26.0

Slope of load-extension graph = (192.7 � 26.0)

Percentage error in slope:

Percentage error in E

= % error in slope + % error in lo + 2 ? % error in d

Young’s modulus of copper, E = (125 � 22) GPa


– The stress applied to a copper wire (s.w.g. 32) is directly proportional to the strain it produces before the extension becomes 3.5mm.

– The ratio of stress to strain will get smaller and not constant when the extension beyond 3.5mm (proportional limit), i.e. after the extension reached 3.5mm, small increase in stress can produce a great increase in strain.

– Copper obeys the Hooke’s law.

– The Young’s modulus of copper is (125 � 22) GPa

Sources of Error:

1. The copper wire did not have a constant cross-sectional area along its length.

2. There was fractional force due to the pulley applying to the wire.

3. Reading error in measuring the extension and the unstretched length.

4. Fluctuation of room temperature might change the diameter of the wire during the experiment.

5. The wire in the experimental set-up was not exactly horizontal that made our measurement of extension not accurate.

6. The cross sectional area of the wire got thinner under stress so that the expected stress would be less than the stress actually applied.

Improvement of the Experiment:

1. Fixed the metre ruler by another G-clamp so that measurement of the extension can be more accurate.

2. In order to measure extremely small extension with high precision, “optical lever” (a mirror mounted on a small pivot) can be used instead of just using a simple meter stick.

3. Repeat the experiment several time and take average of the extension values so that more accurate result can be obtained

4. The experiment can be repeated as below so that the small extension of the wire can be measured accurately by vernier scale; moreover, there will be no extra fractional fore due to the presence of pulley.

5. Repeat the experiment by using copper wire with different s.w.g and take an average of the Young’s modulus obtained so that we can estimate the value of Young’s modulus of copper more accurately.


1. Wear safety goggle during the experiment so as to protect our eyes when the wire breaks eventually

2. The load should not be too high off the floor, and there should be a suitable soft landing platform, such as runner tile right below the load.

3. The unstretched length should be at least 3m for the wire to extend.

Cite this page

Measuring Young's Modulus of Copper. (2017, Aug 13). Retrieved from

Measuring Young's Modulus of Copper

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment