Calculating the resistance from R = pl/A

  1. 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A laboratory lead consists of 16 strands of fine copper wire twisted together. Each strand is 30 cm long with a diameter of 0.15 mm. Calculate the potential difference across the lead when it is carrying a current of 2.0 A.
    (The resistivity of copper = 1.7 × 10^-8 Ohm*m)

    2. Relevant equations
    What I would do is R = pl/A and then multiply by 2
    BUT I can't find R

    3. The attempt at a solution

    (the answer is. apparantly, 0.036 V but I cant see how)

    I said R = [(1.7*10^-8)*16*0.3)/(pi*0.15/20000)^2)
  2. jcsd
  3. ideasrule

    ideasrule 2,323
    Homework Helper

    Putting strands of wire in parallel decreases the total resistance, because the electrons now have many more paths to follow. 16 strands would decrease the resistance by a factor of 16.

    Also, why are you dividing 0.15 by 20,000? Why is pi being squared? The area of a circle of pi*r^2, not (pi*r)^2.
  4. er, sorry abou the pi^2 bad use of brackets

    it was meant to be pi * (0.15/2000)^2

    again sorry,

    Question: it is still ONE strand of wire, just twisted, are you sure total R decreases
  5. seems you are correct - I now get the correct answer
  6. oh, don't worry I get it
    first example 16 seperate strands
    second example one strand with 8 branches
    its ok
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