Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Find resistance with length in a circuit

  1. May 5, 2008 #1
    1. I need to find the resistance of unknown resistor by varying its lenght. I have a voltmeter, and ammeter (the voltage is to supposed to stay constant, with the current changing). From this I am supposed to create a graph, but teh only graphs I know are V by I to get R, but is V is constant the slope of the line won't work. Anyone have any ideas how I can make the graph?

    2. The only equations I've been taught are V=IR and P=IV.

    3. I'm really stuck, any help would be great
  2. jcsd
  3. May 5, 2008 #2
    HINT:What values are changing there?
  4. May 5, 2008 #3
    the values changing are length (manipulated) and current (responding). But if I plot those, the slope is A/M, which isn't the same as resistance.
  5. May 8, 2008 #4
    Is this formula helpful:[tex]R=\frac{\rho l}{S}[/tex]
  6. May 8, 2008 #5
    Forum went down,so here is the correct formula:

    [tex]R=\frac{\rho l}{A}[/tex]


    [tex]l[/tex] is the length

    [tex]A[/tex] is the cross sectional area

    [tex]\rho[/tex] is the resistivity of the material.
    Last edited: May 8, 2008
  7. May 8, 2008 #6
    If I understood correctly,[tex]V[/tex] is not given there?
  8. May 8, 2008 #7
    And are you sure you understood everything completely?
  9. May 8, 2008 #8


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Something sounds not right with this question. How can one vary the length of a common resistor?
    Are they asking for resistance or resistivity? If they want the resistance, just measure voltage and current, there is no need to vary the length or take more than one measurement.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook