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Name: Laura M
Status: student
Age: 15
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999 

I am doing a physics investigation about the resistance of a wire, i personally am investigating how the width (SWG) of a wire affects the resistance of a wire! Can you help me?? i need to include as much scientific references and knowledge as possible!

The resistance is directly proportional to the length and inversely proportional to the area (which is proportional to the width).

H. Myron


There is plenty of information on this. Have you visited your library? Any book on basic electricity would have this topic.

The essence of this problem is this: the resistance you measure across a wire is: Resistance = material resistively x length of the wire/cross sectional area of the wire.

You can change any of the variables on the right hand side of this equation (by using different wires materials (aluminum, copper, etc.), different wire lengths, and different wire thickness). In fact, you can estimate material resistively by making a resistance measurement of a wire.

This makes a great science project but I encourage you to visit your library and get some books on it and you will find more detailed information as well as some guidance on how to carry out the experiments.

You should be able to do your experiment using batteries. If you need other power sources, talk to your teacher first because safety should be the top priority for engineers and scientist. Good luck


Dr. Ali Khounsary
Advanced Photon Source Argonne National Laboratory

Probably I shouldn't tell you the answer to this one, because the important thing is not the answer but the investigation. You can get all you need to know by asking yourself what would be the resistance of two wires in parallel, and what would be the width of a single wire with the same resistance. If wires mystify you, think about hoses stuffed with cotton.

Tim Mooney

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