Factors That Affect The Resistance Of Resistance Putty
Factors that Affect the Resistance of Resistance Putty
This investigation is designed to look into the resistance of different materials, in this case, resistance putty in the form of wires, and their conducting capability in different shapes. We must bear in mind though that different thickness and length of the putty used to make up the wire itself will affect the electric conduction capability. Therefore, the factors are;
The thickness of the putty e.g. 1mm, 2mm, 3mm in diameter or 1 cm in diameter
The length of the putty e.g.25cm, 50cm, 75cm long.
The experiment will require both the readings of voltage and current in order to produce the value of resistance according to the formula;
R= V/ I
The current flowing through the wire will be recorded to the nearest 0.01A, using an ammeter placed in series with the circuit.
The voltage across the putty will also be measured and recorded to the nearest 0.01V, using a voltmeter placed parallel across the putty.
To make it a fair test, the cell terminals will be reversed after the first readings, so that the current would flow in the opposite direction, and then be recorded down again to give repeat readings. The 2 readings for (I) or current will then be averaged, and the 2 readings for (V) or voltage will also be averaged. So that I could calculate the resistance by using the formula: R=V / I (resistance = voltage/current) or (resistance potential difference across the wire/current through the wire)
The putty will be 20cm long. Making sure that this is a fair test and experiment, the putty will have a diameter of a one-penny coin at all times. We use the one penny coin, because it will keep the putty even, and so that the crocodile clips which will be placed at each end of the putty won't squash the ends of the putty.
The experiment will be repeated 10 times altogether, shorting the wire 2cm each time, to give a range of 20cm to 2cm.
Make sure that the circuit is properly connected before turning the power supply on, and do not touch the apparatus, especially the tested wire, in case the putty, until the power is switched off.
The changing of the putty should only occur when the power is off.
Do not carry out the experiment in wet areas, as water is a very good conductor.
Do not switch on the power pack when there is no resistant wire (putty) and do not turn the power supply up too high, because normal laboratory wires may melt, and so might the putty.
Do not handle experiment with wet hands.
Place asbestos mat underneath putty for safety.
Place a variable resistor in the circuit for safety to ensure that the current did not remain too large, but remained set at the same value throughout the experiment to ensure that the test was fair.
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Investigating how the Resistance of a Constantan Wire is Affected by Its Length
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- Rating: Excellent
Investigating how the Resistance of a Constantan Wire is Affected by Its Length
Introduction: In this experiment we will be investigating how changing
length of a piece of Constantan wire will affect the resistance.
Therefore the length will be an independent variable and all of
the other variables we will try to keep the same. The other
variables included in this experiment are temperature, thickness
of wire and density of wire. Resistance is a force, which
opposes the flow of an electric current around a circuit so that
energy is required to push the charged particles around the
- Thickness of the wire: if the wire is thin, the electrons are forced
to travel through a smaller area, therefore colliding more frequently,
resulting in them giving up more of their energy to surrounding
- Temperature: resistance of the wire increases as the
increases, as the atoms are oscillating faster. When an electro
collides with an atom, it loses its energy. If the wire cools, the
resistance will decrease.
- Length of Wire: the longer the wire the larger the resistance, due
to the fact the electrons have a further distance to travel,
increasing the possibility of any potential collisions.
- Wire density: If the wire has a high density, the resistance will
Higher, as there are more atoms found in a smaller space. This leaves
less, and smaller, gaps for the electrons to flow through. Because of
the lack of space, we would expect there to be more collisions between
the atoms and electrons.
- The reason for doing preliminary research was to get an indication
of the patterns I could expect in my results. Also, it was considered
a practice, so if any errors were made in the first attempt, then they
could be eradicated in my real experiment.
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Constantan Wire Length Length Of Wire Electric Current Key Factors Atoms Collisions Thickness Increases
Using these results, I can
now make a prediction as to what I should expect in the real
- Now that I have completed the experimental side of my
Investigation, I can use the results to explain if my prediction is
correct, and if not, why not.
- In electricity, the property that transforms electrical energy into
heat energy is resistance. A common factor that the entire conductors
share is the fact that they have free electrons in the outer shell of
their structure. Resulting from this, in all conductive atoms the
outer electrons are able to move freely, even in a solid (in this
particular experiment the Constantan wire).
- I predict that every time I decrease the length of the wire,
resistance will increase accordingly. This is because the longer the
conductor, the more particles there are in one way, resulting in the
electrons finding it difficult to flow. Also, as the length of the
wire is longer, this means electricity has further to travel, but
because it is in a longer wire, collisions will be less frequent.
- The Constantan wire is very thin: therefore there is a smaller area
for electrons to travel through. On their journey from negative to
positive, there are more and more collisions, giving energy to
- I know that as the resistance increases, the temperature of the wire
will rise. This is due to the fact the atoms in the wire are
oscillating faster. I believe the temperature of the wire is directly
proportional to the length and resistance.
- 100 cm ruler: to measure the wire accurately.
- 100cm wire: to experiment upon.
- 1 ammeter: to measure the current in the circuit.
- 1 voltmeter: to measure the voltage in the circuit.
- Connecting wires: to connect all necessary apparatus to the circuit.
- Crocodile clips: to connect the wires to the devices.
- 1 power pack: to supply AC current and control voltage.
- Collect all of the equipment and set up as shown in the diagram.
Make sure the ammeter is placed in series and the voltmeter inserted
- Set the wire to 100cm, and place two crocodile clips at the first
- Record the current in amps and the voltage in volts into the results
- Repeat the process from step 2, remembering that one crocodile clip
should always be placed on 0cm, with the other one moving up 10cm’s
- Continue doing this until all measurements up to 100cm have been
- Using results gathered work out averages of the current and voltage.
- Using the formula R=V/I, work out the resistance in ohms with a
Factors ensuring a fair experiment:
- Do not alter the positions of any of the devices during
- Record the current and voltage accurately, using correct units.
- Always place the crocodile clips on the exact measurement.
- Before beginning experimentation ensure all apparatus are fully
- Leave the voltage at the same level throughout the experiment.
- The wire must be straight as bends may affect resistance.
- The reading of the voltage should be taken promptly as when the
current passes through the wire, the wire will become hotter, but I
wish for heat to not play that big a role in my results.
- Keep the power pack voltage below 2V.
- Ensure all equipment is safe to use.
- If you smell burning, quickly switch off from the mains.
Current (I, amps)
Voltage (V, volts)
Resistance (R, ohms)