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The effect of temperature on conductivity and resistance

Abstract

This science fair project was conducted to find out how temperature affects the conductivity and resistance of a wire. The science project involved a copper wire of diameter 0.5 mm.

Hypothesis

As the temperature of a wire increases, the resistance of the wire will also increase and therefore the conductivity of the wire will fall.

Scientific Terms

Conductivity, resistance, current, ampere, voltage, volt, ohm

Background

Resistance and conductivity

The resistance of a conductor is a measure of the opposition to the current flowing in it. The resistance will increase as the length of the conductor is increased and the resistance falls as the diameter of the conductor increases. The value of resistance is measured in ohms.

Electrical conductivity measures the ability of a conductor to current to flow in it. Therefore conductivity is the inverse of resistance. The higher the resistance of the wire, the lower the conductivity will be.

Resistance = 1 / Conductivity

Ohm’s Law states that when a current (I), measured in amperes, flows inside a conductor of resistance (R), measured in ohms, the voltage (V) measured in volts, across the wire, will be the product of the current and the resistance.

Voltage V = Current I x Resistance R

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Complexity level:
8
Project cost (\$):
20
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 1 hour for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Basic safety requirements