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# Title Resistance, Resistivity and Ohms Law

## Purpose/Rationale Develop an understanding of:

Students will have the chance to physically manipulate resistors in order to
gain an understanding what affects Resistance and Resistivity (Property of the
Object versus Properties of the Material)
Students will apply Ohms Law to their measurements to establish a working
understanding of Resistance
Begin the groundwork for circuits
Conduct an investigation into what properties influence the resistance of a
material.

Community Resources Certain students require additional aid outside the norm, during problem solving
and meeting needs practice ensure they are given the necessary support.
students English language/Euphemism support: Insure practice problems utilize
language that can be understood by non-native speakers, or be ready to
explain or demonstrate visually the situation
Real World Demonstration and Exploration: Allow the students to see that
the manipulation of real world materials will affect the system in predictable
and calculable fashion.

Virginia Science SOLs PH.1 The student will plan and conduct investigations in which:
a) the components of a system are defined
b) instruments are selected and used to extend observations and measurements
of mass, volume, temperature, heat exchange, energy transformations, motion,
fields, and electric charge
c) information is recorded and presented in an organized format
d) metric units are used in all measurements and calculations
h) appropriate technology including computers, graphing calculators, and
probeware, is used for gathering and analyzing data and communicating results.
PH.2 The student will investigate and understand how to analyze and interpret
data.
a) a description of a physical problem is translated into a mathematical
statement in order to find a solution
b) relationships between physical quantities are determined using the shape of a
curve passing through experimentally obtained data
c) the slope of a linear relationship is calculated and includes appropriate units
d) interpolated, extrapolated, and analyzed trends are used to make predictions
PH.4 The student will investigate and understand how applications of physics
affect the world.
a) examples from the real world
b) exploration of the roles and contributions of science and technology
PH.8 The student will investigate and understand that energy can be transferred
and transformed to provide usable work:
a) transformation of energy among forms including mechanical, thermal,
electrical, gravitational, chemical, and nuclear
PH.13 The student will investigate and understand how to diagram and
construct basic electrical circuits and explain the function of various circuit
components
a) Ohms law
b) series, parallel, and combined circuits
c) circuit components including resistors, batteries, switches

Materials Holt McDougal Physics Textbook, alligator clip wires, multimeters, water, salt,
PlayDoh, charging plates/metal contacts, power source/batteries, rulers.

PlayDoh Resistivity Lab: Based On Joy Scales PlayDoh Resistivity Lab (based
on the "ResistancemeasurementsonPlaydoh",BrianJones,The
PhysicsTeacher31,48(1983).)

Safety and Class Do not attach electrodes to self, others, or any other electronics.
Management Issues Do not connect the power source to themselves without a bulb connected
between the terminals (demonstrate how not to short the batteries)
Do not attach the power sources to anything flammable or your tongue.

Explain how to connect the multimeter to the circuit to read Current and Voltage
respectively. In addition, mention that this is to prevent damage to the
equipment.

Do not keep the PlayDoh attach to the circuit for extended periods of time, due
to the risk of the PlayDoh breaking down/melting.

Students are to be held responsible for managing their time in class in-regards
to their classwork, notes, and other work.

## Check HW + Lab Prep Randomized seating for Lab groups.

10-15 Minutes
Completion check of past assigned homework and going over practice
problems.

Engage Engage prior knowledge from last class about Ohms Law.
5 Minutes Review what each aspect meant.
V = I*R
V is the Voltage or Potential Drop. Its the amount of push that the charges are
feeling.
I is the Current. Its the rate which the charges flow
R is the tendency/measured amount an object will impede the flow of charge.

## Explore PlayDoh/Material Resistivity and Ohms Law Lab

50-60 Minutes Be sure to explain the safety concerns
Also, demo/explain the circuit set-up. Explaining each component of
the circuit diagram of the lab.
Finally, show how the voltmeter does not need to be attach to the
circuit.

## Explain Examine the Results of the Lab and Discussion

20 Minutes What physical properties did you notice effect the resistance of
PlayDoh/Materials?
Discuss the Results

Can you explain what was going on/why you got the results you did?
(Transition to Elaborate)

Elaborate Can you explain what was going on/why you got the results you did?
5-10 minutes R = L/A

## is the Resistivity. A Property of the material that the charges

are flowing through. Demonstrate that it could be modified and
changed in the Water/Salt Water part of the lab

Analogy.

## Imagine the PlayDoh is a section of river.

The slope of the Hill is Voltage, Current is the Speed the Water Flows, and
Resistance is the Riverbed with rocks and debri.

R = L/A
is the amount or density of debri and rocks in the riverbed.
L is the length of the river.
A is the width of the river

## By increasing , Im adding more stuff that gets in the way of

the flow of water.
By changing L, I am changing for how long of a distance the water has to travel
through the rough riverbed.
By changing A, I am changing how much water I can pass through the riverbed.
Ohms Law Analogy:
Current = Speed
V = Energy Lost to the Material (Voltage Drop)
Resistance = Property of the Material (Air Consistency)

Evaluate

Summative

## Activity Sheet PlayDoh Resistivity Lab Sheet.

(JoyScalesVariant)
ResistanceandResistivitywithclay
Introduction:
Certainmaterialsopposecurrentflowmorethanothers.Eventhesamematerialallowscurrent
flowatdifferentratesdependinguponshape.Thispropertyiscalledresistance.Theresistanceat
anypointisdefinedbythepotentialdifferenceacrossthematerialdividedbythecurrentflowing
throughit:R=V/I.
YouwillinvestigatetheeffectsofshapeonthecurrentflowthroughPlaydohorsimilar
material.Youwillalsoattempttodetermineifthereashapeindependentquantityrelatedto
resistancecalledresistivity.Finallyyouwillinvestigatetheeffectsoftemperatureonthecurrent
flowthroughPlaydohorsimilarmaterialbydesigningyourownprocedure.
Basedon"ResistancemeasurementsonPlaydoh",BrianJones,ThePhysicsTeacher31,48
(1983).
Apparatus:
DCpowersupply,2digitalmultimeters,Playdohorsimilarmaterial,3pairsofwires,meter
stick,aligatorclips,nails
Procedure:
GENERALSETUP
1Setthepowersupplytoapproximately2volts.(NOTE:Ifthecurrentcontinually
increasesordecreasesduringanymeasurement,lowerthevoltageuntilthecurrentis
stable.)
2Disconnectthehighsideofthepowersupply.
3Wirethepartialcircuitshownbelow.Theendprobesarenailsattachedtothewires
usingalligatorclips.

CONSTANTDIAMETERMEASUREMENTS
4Formacylinderwithauniformdiameterforalengthofatleast7cmusingsome
dough.
5Measurethediameterofthecylinder.
6Insertthenailsnearoppositeendsofthecylinder.
7Measurethelengthofthecylinderbetweenthebananaplugs.
8Connectthepowersupply,measurethecurrentflowandthevoltagethroughthedough,
anddisconnectthepowersupply.Donotleaveitconnected!
9Recordthelength,diameter,voltageacrossthedoughandthecurrentthroughthe
dough.
10Movethenailssotheyareatleast1cmclosertogether.
11Repeatsteps710foruntilyouhaveatleast5measurementswiththesamediameter
butdifferentlength.
CONSTANTLENGTHMEASUREMENTS
12Formacylinderwithalargeuniformdiameterforalengthofatleast4cmusingsome
dough.
13Insertthenailsintothedoughsothattheyare3cmapart.
14Measurethediameterofthecylinder.
15Connectthepowersupply,measurethecurrentflowandthevoltagethroughthe
dough,anddisconnectthepowersupply.Donotleaveitconnected!
16Recordthelength,diameter,voltageacrossthedoughandthecurrentthroughthe
dough.
17Formasmaller,uniformdiametercylinderorcubebycuttingofffromthematerial(do
notreworkit)foralengthofatleast4cmusingsomedough.Thediametershouldbe
differentfromthoseusedbefore.
18Repeatsteps1317foruntilyouhaveatleast5measurementswiththesamelength
butdifferentdiameter.
area,andresistivity.

Analysis:
Plotresistanceversuslength.
Plotresistanceversus1/area.
Plotresistivityversusdatarunnumber.
Questions(Includeinyourconclusion!):
1Howdoesresistancevarywiththelengthofthematerial?Doesyourdatasupportthis?
2Howdoesresistancevarywiththecrosssectionalareaofthematerial?Doesyourdata
supportthis?
3Giveaphysicalexplanationfortheeffectsoflengthonresistance.
4Giveaphysicalexplanationfortheeffectsofcrosssectionalareaonresistance.
5Resistivityisaconstantforagivenmaterial.Itisdefinedbyresistivity==R(A/L).
Doesyourdatatendtosupportthisdefinition?
6Resistivitymeasureshowdifficultitisforachargetomovethroughamaterial.
Conductivitymeasureshoweasyitisforachargetomovethroughamaterial.Givean
equationthatwouldreasonablyrelateresistivityandconductivitytoeachother.Explain
yourreasoning.
Resistance and Resistivity
Resistance is a property of the object and its geometry.
Resistivity is a property of the material that is related to the materials tendency to resist the flow of
charges.
Using Ohms Law and your Voltage and Current measurements you will be calculating the resistance of
different materials.

Safety Concerns:
Do not attach electrodes to self, others, any personal electronics, anything flammable, or your tongue.
Do not attach the terminals of the power source to each using only the wires/alligator clips. This could
potentially short or break the power sources.
Do not drink any water used in this lab.
Do not inhale any gases produced in the course of this lab.

Materials
2 Multimeters
1 Battery Pack
1 Container of PlayDoh
1 Pair of Charging Plates (in absence of charging plates, the wires may be inserted directly)
Paper Cups
Salt
Tap/Distilled Water
Various Alligator Clips

## PlayDoh Resistance and Resistivity

Procedure:
GENERAL SET UP

1 Wire the partial circuit shown at the top of the next page. Do not connect the power source/battery to
the circuit. The end probes are charging plates attached to the wires using alligator clips.
The Multimeter that is labeled A should be set to 10A, with the probes connected to 1st and
3rd ports.
The 2nd Multimeter that is labeled V should be set to DCV 20, with the probes connected to
the 2nd and 3rd ports (This Multimeter does not have to be connected into the circuit). This will
measure your Potential Drop/Potential Difference across the PlayDoh.
CONSTANT DIAMETER MEASUREMENTS

3 Form a cylinder with a uniform diameter, with a length of at least 7 cm using some Playdoh.
4 Measure the diameter of the cylinder.
5 Place the charging plates at both ends of the cylinder. Be sure there is good contact between the plate
and the cylinder.
6 Measure the length of the cylinder between the plates.
7 Connect the battery, measure the current flow and the voltage through the dough, and disconnect the
power supply. Do not leave it connected!
8 Record the length, diameter, voltage across the dough and the current through the dough.
9 Move the plates so they are at least 1 cm closer together.
10 Repeat steps 7-10 for until you have at least 5 measurements with the same diameter but different
length.

## CONSTANT LENGTH MEASUREMENTS

11 Form a cylinder with a large uniform diameter, with a length at least 4 cm long.
12 Insert the plates into the dough so that they are 3 cm apart.
13 Measure the diameter of the cylinder.
14 Connect the power supply, measure the current flow and the voltage through the dough, and
disconnect the power supply. Do not leave it connected!
15 Record the length, diameter, voltage across the dough and the current through the dough.
16 Form a smaller, uniform diameter cylinder or cube by cutting off from the material (do not rework it)
for a length of at least 4 cm using some dough. The diameter should be different from those used before.
17 Repeat steps 12-16 for until you have at least 5 measurements with the same length but different
diameter.
ANALYSIS
Trial Length (m) Diameter (m) Cross Sectional Potential Current Resistance
# Area (m2) Drop (V) (Amps) ()

10

Conclusion Questions

1. What quantities/qualities affect the resistance of an object? (Circle all that apply)

## Material Diameter Cross-sectional Area Length Shape

2. Of these quantities/qualities, how were they related to the resistance of the object (Direct
or Inverse Relation)?

## Water Salinity Resistance: Is Water an Insulator or a Conductor?

Procedure:
GENERAL SET UP

1 Wire the partial circuit shown at the top of the next page. The end probes are alligator clips that are to
be placed in contact with the water.
2 Collect about 50 g of water from the tap, and about 5 g of salt in separate cups.

DATA COLLECTION

3 Starting with about 50 g of Distilled Water. Connect the power supply, measure the current flow and
the voltage through the water, and disconnect the power supply. Do not leave it connected!
4 Mix in 5 g of salt to the Distilled Water.
5 Connect the power supply, measure the current flow and the voltage through the water, and disconnect
the power supply.
6 Repeat steps 5 and 6, (you may vary the amount of salt added in step 5), until you have 5
measurements.

ANALYSIS
Trial Mass of Total Mass of Ratio of Salt to Potential Current Resistance
# Water (g) added Salt (g) Water by mass Drop (V) (Amps) ()

ANALYZE
What did you notice about the Resistance compared to the Ratio between Water and Salt?
Is Water a Conductor? Why or why not?

## Is Salt a Conductor? Why or why not?

Since the shape/dimensions of the salt water solution is roughly constant, how is my resistivity changing
as you increase the concentration of salt?