5D10.20 - Resistance vs. Diameter, Resistance vs. Length

Diameter vs Current Version
Diameter vs Current Version
Series and parallel measurements made with linear wire resistors.
Code Number:
Demo Title:
Resistance vs. Diameter, Resistance vs. Length
Principles and Varieties of Resistors
Area of Study:
Electricity & Magnetism
Resistor wires on meter sticks, meters, D cell battery

The resistance board show resistance vs diameter and resistance vs length with copper and nichrome wires using a multimeter to measure Ohms.  Note that the diameters of the wires double for each step as you go from smallest to largest diameter. 

A variation is to use a 3 Volt battery and measure the currents through the same length, same diameter, of copper and nichrome wires.  You can also show that the current increases as the diameter of the wire increases quite easily as the diameters of the wires on the board double for each step as you go from smallest to largest diameter.  Note that if you monitor the voltage you will be able to show there is significant circuit loading as the diameter of the wires increase.

Series and parallel measurements can be made with linear wire resistors that are on the meter sticks.

  • Asuman Kucukozer, "Teaching the Factors Affecting Resistance Using Pencil Leads", TPT, Vol. 53, # 1, Jan. 2015, p. 38.
  • "Figuring Physics", TPT, Vol. 50, # 5, May 2012, p. 264.
  • Joseph Frick, "# 309 - Conducting Power and Ohm's Law", Physical Technics: Or Practical Instructions for Making Experiments in Physics and the Construction of Physical Apparatus with the Most Limmited Means, p. 365.

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