# Physics

Resistivity Equipment

Qty Item Parts Number

1 Voltage Source

1 Resistance Apparatus EM-8812

1 Sample Wire Set EM-8813

1 Voltage Sensor UI-5100

2 Patch Cords

Purpose The purpose of this activity is to examine how the resistance of a resistor is determined via geometry of

the resistor, and the material which it is made of. Also, to further the student’s understanding of the

difference between resistance, and resistivity.

Theory Ohm’s Law describes the relationship between the resistance R of a wire, the voltage drop across it V,

and the current through the wire I. This is formally given by the equation;

𝐼 = 𝑉

𝑅

The resistance of the wire is a function of both the geometry of the wire, and the material that the wire

is composed of. This is formally given by the equation;

𝑅 = 𝜌 𝐿

𝐴

Where here L is the length of the wire, A is the cross-section area of the wire (in this simple equation we

are assuming the cross-section area is constant along the entire length of the wire), and 𝜌 is the

resistivity of the material the wire is composed of. The SI units of resistivity are Ohms·meters, Ω·m, and

it is a quantification of how difficult it is to move a current through a length of the material. This

equation shows us that resistance is a property of the object, while resistivity is a property of the

material the object is made of. Due to this distinction it is really incorrect to say things like, “Copper has

a low resistance.” Because Copper has a ‘low’ resistivity. If you take a Copper wire and double its length

you double the

resistance of that

wire, but the value

of the resistivity of

the copper in that

wire doesn’t

change.

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Setup

1. Open the Capstone software. On the left side of the main screen is the Tool Bar. Click on the

Hardware Setup icon. This will open the Setup window.

 Click on Analog Channel A of the picture of the 850 Universal Interface in the Setup

window, and then scroll down, and add the ‘Voltage Sensor’.

 Click on Output Channel 1 of the picture of the 850 Universal Interface in the Setup

window, and then scroll down, and add the ‘Output Voltage-Current Sensor’.

2. On the bottom center left of the main screen the Sample Rate Tab should now say ‘

Common Rate’.

 Set the Sample Rate to 1 Hz.

3. In the Tool Bar, now click on the Signal Generator Icon. This will open the Signal Generator

window.

 In the Signal Generator window click on the tab “850 output 1” tab. This will open up

the options window for the output generator 1.

 Set the Waveform to a “DC”.

 Set the DC Voltage to 2 volts.

 Set the Voltage Limit to 2 volts.

 Set the Current Limit to 1.1 A.

 Set the Generator to “Auto”, so that it will start and stop automatically when you start

and stop collecting data.

4. Close the Tool Bar.

5. In the main window click on the ‘Two Displays” option. (Bottom left option). A two display

window should appear.

6. In the Display Bar, on the right side of the main screen, click and hold down the ‘digits’ icon,

then drag it out to the top display, and then release. Repeat for the bottom display as well.

7. For the top digits display click on ‘select measurement’ and select ‘Voltage Ch A (V)’

8. For the bottom digits display click on ‘select measurement’ and select ‘Output Voltage, Ch 1 (V)’.

9. Putting a wire in the Resistance Apparatus.

 Move the Reference Probe, and the Slider Probe to their “parked” positions.

 Twist the two black handles counterclockwise to open the clamps to allow the wire to

slide into position.

 Slide the 0.050 inch diameter Brass wire into position such that each end passes

underneath both a probe, and one of the clamps.

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 Tighten the clamps to hold the wire in place, but don’t tighten too much. As soon as you

get a little resistance stop tightening.

10. Plug in the Voltage sensor to Analog Ch A, then plug the two ends of the voltage sensor into the

two slots on the probes of the apparatus. Black into black, and red into red.

11. Plug to patch cords into Output Ch 1, (top right of the 850 Universal Interface). Then plug one

patch cord into each of the power slots on the apparatus. Again, black into black, and red into

red.

12. On the main widow select the ‘Two Large Digits’ template.

 Click on the top ‘Select Measurement’ tab, and select Voltage, Ch A(V).

 Click on the bottom ‘Select Measurement’ tab, and select Output Current, Ch 01(A).

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Procedure

1. Move the Reference Probe to the 0.0 cm position, and move the Slider Probe to the 5.0 cm

Position.

2. Click on Record, at the bottom left of the main screen.

 The Record tab should now be a Stop tab. Immediately click stop.

 Record the values for Voltage, and current in Table “Copper, 0.127cm”

3. Then repeat step two for the Slider Probe in positions 10.0 cm, 15,0 cm, and 20.0 cm.

4. Return both the Reference Probe, and the Slider Probe to their parked positions.

5. Then untighten the two black handles, and remove the brass wire.

6. Now repeat for the following wires: Brass 0.040 in, 0.032 in, 0.020 in.

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Analysis Brass 0.050 inch Diameter Cross-Section Area__________________

L(cm) L/A(cm-1) V(V) i(A) V/i=R(Ω) R(µΩ)

1. Complete the chart. Show work. (10 points)

2. In Excel plot Resistance (µΩ) vs Length/Area, and show the treadline on the graph. What are the

units of the slope of this graph, and what physical quantity does it represent? (8 points)

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Brass 0.040 inch Diameter Cross-Section Area__________________

L(cm) L/A(cm-1) V(V) i(A) V/i=R(Ω) R(µΩ)

3. Complete the chart. Show work.(10 points)

4. In Excel plot Resistance (µΩ) vs Length/Area, and show the treadline on the graph. What are the

units of the slope of this graph, and what physical quantity does it represent? (8 points)

8

Brass 0.032 inch Diameter Cross-Section Area__________________

L(cm) L/A(cm-1) V(V) i(A) V/i=R(Ω) R(µΩ)

5. Complete the chart. Show work. (10 points)

6. In Excel plot Resistance (µΩ) vs Length/Area, and show the treadline on the graph. What are the

units of the slope of this graph, and what physical quantity does it represent? (8 points)

9

Brass 0.020 inch Diameter Cross-Section Area__________________

L(cm) L/A(cm-1) V(V) i(A) V/i=R(Ω) R(µΩ)

7. Complete the chart. Show work. (10 points)

8. In Excel plot Resistance (µΩ) vs Length/Area, and show the treadline on the graph. What are the

units of the slope of this graph, and what physical quantity does it represent? (8 points)

9. Calculate the average value of your slopes, then calculate the % error between it, and the

accepted value. (8 points)

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