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Unit 1 lab report Science

Bannhat Phat 10/4/14

Unit 1 lab report: Resistance of wire investigation

To reduce resistance can dramatically reduce the amount of wasted energy
(heat). This is particularly important when transferring electricity from a power
station across the long distances to a population center (town or city).

My task

For this assessment, my task is to conduct an experiment and write a lab
report concerning how the changes in terminal voltage, affects the resistance of a
Nickel-Chromium (20 SWG) wire.


My research question

How does changing the voltage of the terminal voltage affect the
resistance of a Nickel-Chromium (20 SWG) wire?


As the Nickel-Chromium wire or Nichrome, an alloy of nickel and
chromium, is a resistance wire or a resistor, it has a very high resistance to the
flow of electricity, its mainly used in electrical ovens, microwave ovens, and
toasters. I hypothesize that by increasing the voltage of the terminal; the
resistance of this wire will remain constant. This is due to the fact that resistors
obey Ohms law. Thereby, when more terminal voltage is applied to the circuit;
the current will increase proportionally to it the voltage, which should result in
the resistance of the wire being the same, unless temperature varies.

Variable Factor Description
Independent Variable Voltage I will change the voltage
of the power pack and
record the volt reading
from a voltmeter
Dependent Variable Resistance I will calculate the
resistance by dividing
the voltage of the wire by
the current that I get
from doing my
Fixed Time I will record my volt
readings after 3 seconds
of applying electrons into
the circuit
Fixed Thickness of wire The thickness of the wire
that Im using always
going to be 20 SWG
Fixed Wire length The wire will be 20 cm
Unit 1 lab report Science
Bannhat Phat 10/4/14
for all experiments
Fixed Current I will get the current
readings from an
Fixed The shape of the wire The wire must be in a
linear and shouldnt be
bent on any parts of it.


For this experiment, I need acquire:
An ammeter
A voltmeter
A timer
A wire cutter
A ruler
Crocodile clips
20 SWG Nickel-Chromium wire
Light bulb
A power pack.


1. Measure 30 cm of the 20 SWG of Nickel-Chromium wire on a ruler.
2. Using a wire cutter cut a 30 cm stretch of 20 SWG of Nickel-Chromium wire
without bending it.
3. Using a ruler, measure and mark a 20 cm stretch of the wire using a
marker; the markings is where Im going to clip the alligator clips of the
4. Set up the circuit as shown in the diagram below.
Unit 1 lab report Science
Bannhat Phat 10/4/14

5. Turn on the voltage of the power pack to 1 volt, turn it off immediately
after 3 seconds; timers will the track time.
6. To record the data for the independent variable, I need to record the
highest voltage readings from the voltmeter and the highest amps
readings from the ammeter in the course of that 3 seconds interval on a
7. Reset the timer back to 3 seconds and increase the voltage of the power
pack by 1 Volt. Cool the wire with a plastic bag filled with water thats at
room temperature. Repeat step 3-6 until your data records up to 10 volts.
8. For each change of terminal voltage in the table, divide the voltage of the
wire to the current recorded in that row of the table to find the resistance
of that wire. Do this for all change of terminal voltage in the table.

Data collection

Raw data table

The data on the first trial overloaded when more than 6 volts of terminal voltage
is applied, thereby I had to add in a light bulb and start on trial 2 data. For my
calculation for the average wire voltage and current, I only add the data from
trial 2 and 3, since I experiment more with a light bulb in my circuit and trial 1
and 2 data records up to 10 volts. Therefore, the result from trial 1 is invalid and
is useless for data processing.
Unit 1 lab report Science
Bannhat Phat 10/4/14

Processed data table

(V or
Trial 1 (without light
Trial 2(with light
Trial 3 (with
light bulb)
Average (with
light bulb)
voltage (V
or volts)
Current (A
or Amps)
(V or
(A or
(V or
(A or
(V or
(A or
1 0.0 0.5 0 0.02 0 0.02 0 0.02
2 0.5 1.34 0.03 0.1 0.01 0.11 0.02 0.105
3 0.82 3.64 0.05 0.16 0.02 0.16 0.035 0.16
4 1.61 4.19 0.06 0.2 0.04 0.2 0.05 0.2
5 2.17 6.4 0.07 0.25 0.07 0.24 0.07 0.245
6 2.8 8.18 0.08 0.28 0.09 0.27 0.085 0.275
7 Overloaded Overloaded 0.09 0.31 0.1 0.31 0.095 0.31
8 Overloaded Overloaded 0.1 0.35 0.11 0.33 0.105 0.34
9 Overloaded Overloaded 0.11 0.37 0.13 0.36 0.12 0.365
10 Overloaded Overloaded 0.12 0.4 0.15 0.38 0.135 0.39
Terminal Voltage (V
or volts)
Resistance ( or Ohms)
Trial 1
(ignore the
data as its
Trial 2 Trial 3 Average
(Technical error. This
data will be ignored
from the graph)
0 0 0 0
2 0.37 0.3 0.09 0.19
3 0.23 0.31 0.13 0.219
4 0.38 0.3 0.2 0.25
5 0.34 0.28 0.17 0.286
6 0.34 0.29 0.33 0.31
7 Overloaded 0.24 0.32 0.31
Unit 1 lab report Science
Bannhat Phat 10/4/14


I perceived that the longer I subjected the wire to the terminal voltage
the more the voltage of the wire will increase. I also perceived that my wire
started to turn slightly brown when more voltage is applied and also starts to
burn. I saw that the more terminal voltage I applied, the brighter the bulb glowed
and the hotter the glass of the bulb became. The more terminal voltage I applied
onto my wire, the hotter the wire got. I also realized that the longer I cooled off
the wire, the less the current will be for the wire when I subject it to the terminal

Data Analysis

My graph shows a straight line that best fit with a positive gradient (y=0.0183x +


y = 0.0183x + 0.1735
R = 0.9086
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
(or Ohms )
Terminal Voltage (V or volts)
The average resistance of nickel-
chromium wire and terminal voltage
8 Overloaded 0.29 0.33 0.31
9 Overloaded 0.3 0.36 0.329
10 Overloaded 0.3 0.39 0.346
Unit 1 lab report Science
Bannhat Phat 10/4/14
The positive linear gradient shows that as terminal voltage increases, the
resistance doesnt remain constant at all, this suggests for changes in the
resistance of the wire. In the case of a resistor, like this 20 cm 20 SWG nickel
chromium wire, when terminal voltage is increased, the current thats flowing
through the wire should increase proportionally to the voltage, thus making the
resistance remain the same. For example, if I double the terminal voltage, the
current must also be doubled, the ratio of the voltage and the current will result
in a resistance thats the same as the resistance when the terminal isnt doubled.
This exemplifies that the resistance of this resistance wire should remain
constant even when terminal voltage is increased or decreased, as the current
will increase in proportion to the terminal voltage. Changing terminal voltage
shouldnt cause the variations in the resistance of this resistance wire.

Validity of hypothesis

Considering the validity of my data, my data points are not close to the
trend line, even though the R value is 0.90863, which is closer to 1 than -1.
Other trend lines, which are the logarithmic trend line and moving average trend
line, also fit with the data point of the graph.

Less than half of my data points followed the trend line. From the second
to the sixth data point and ninths to tenth data point, the resistance increased in
a linear fashion. On the sixth to the eighth data point, the resistance remained the
same (31 ). The resistance of the wire increased from 2 volts to 6 volts, then
remained constant from 6 volts to 8 volts and increased from then. Only a small
part of my graph corresponds to my hypothesis about resistance being constant
in a Nickel-Chromium wire, while the majority of my data shows an increase of
resistance, which is caused by temperature variation in the wire.

Since I added the bulb so that I can record up to 10 terminal voltages of
data. The data point, especially from the fourth data point to the sixth, doesnt
align with one another in a perfect straight line. Moreover the resistance
increased and isnt constant. This is simply due to the filament lamps not obeying
Ohms Law. A filament lamp is a type light bulb that functions when an electric
current passes through a thin coil of wire called a filament; this heats the
filament and produces light. Thereby when I increased the terminal voltage that I
subjected to the wire, the temperature of the filament light bulb increases when
the current increases, which results from the increase of terminal voltage. When
temperature increases, the resistance increases, as the filament atoms will
vibrate more intensely that causes more violent collisions against the electrons,
which impedes the movement of electrons. This might serve as a factor that may
have caused the resistance of the resistor to vary, as its resistance thats increase
by temperature is added up with the resistance of the wire.

Another reason to why the resistance of the Nickel-Chromium wire
increased is due to me not managing the constant of time well when I conducted
my experiments. I will explain more about this in my evaluation.

Unit 1 lab report Science
Bannhat Phat 10/4/14
Therefore, judging by this graph, my hypothesis for a constant resistance
for a Nickel-chromium wire was wrong. My hypothesis was untrue from the
results portrayed in the graph. Since I employed the use of a filament lamp to
gather up to 10 terminal voltages of data, the temperature of the filament in the
lamp increased, this led to an increase in the resistance of the filament bulb.
Moreover, there was no increase in the wire resistance, but there was an
increase in the resistance of the circuit, due to the temperature variations in the
filament bulb, which led to increased resistance. Another reason to why my
hypothesis was untrue for the graph is that I didnt control the factor of time
very well, of which Ill explain in further detail in my evaluation.



Issue Impact Improvement
Time. I didnt record all
my data in a three second
interval; I recorded my
data in two seconds
while I collected some of
my data after four
seconds of terminal
voltage application.
It has an impact on all of
the data that Ive collected
in my experiment. Based
on my observation, I
perceived that the longer I
subjected my wire to the
hotter the wire got.
Temperature variation
causes variations in the
resistance of the wire.
As I struggle in keeping
my data recording time
constant, I can record
my data after 5 seconds
of voltage application
than 3 seconds. I can
have a friend who looks
and states the ammeter
readings or voltmeter
readings or keep track
of the time.
Equipment. I used the
analogue ammeter
instead of the digital
ammeter, while I used
the digital voltmeter,
instead of the analogue
It has a significant impact
on the accuracy of the
current readings, as I
prefer to have my
readings the numbers in
the analogue ammeter. I
record my data by the
thousandths decimal
point. Furthermore, as the
voltage readings are more
accurate than the current
I can improve by
switching the analogue
ammeter for a digital
ammeter, as reading
recorded in number is
easier to read off than
working out a suitable
number from the
analogue ammeter.
Additionally, I can
record data up to its
thousandths value.

My procedure is valid, but because I used the light bulb to record lots of
data, its resistance is added onto the circuit, therefore giving me the result of an
increase in resistance rather than a constant value. Additionally, my procedure is
overly dependent on time, as a variation in data recording time may lead to
inaccuracy in voltage and current readings, as temperature of the wire increases
when I subjected the wire to terminal voltage. This increase in temperature leads
to increase in resistance of the wire.

Unit 1 lab report Science
Bannhat Phat 10/4/14

To improve the precision of my experiment, I need to take more trials,
maybe 5 or 6 trials, rather than 3 trials with 1 trial being ignore for analyzing. I
need to take more data from a greater range of terminal voltage, maybe 15
voltage of data, rather than 10 voltages of data with 1 terminal voltage being

Work Cited

1. "Ohm's Law." Ohm's Law. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2014.

2. "Resistance." Schoolphysics ::Welcome::. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2014.

3. "Resistance Wire Overview." Resistance Wire. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2014.

4. "Voltage, Current and Resistance." BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2014.