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.