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Experiment No.

Aim: To determine resistivity of various materials.


1. To determine resistance with respect to different lengths for each material keeping diameter
almost constant.
2. To plot the graph of resistance versus length of samples and to calculate resistivity for all
3. Compare the resistivity values for different materials and derive suitable conclusion

Introduction: Resistivity is the tendency of a material to behave as a resistor. We already know that not
everything conducts electricity equally well, and that some materials (like copper) resist very little, while
others (like rubber) provide enough resistance to effectively prevent the flow of current. Resistivity is a
fundamental material property (like density or melting point), while the total resistance (R) depends on
the material, the geometry, and the temperature. In an ideal case, cross-section and physical
composition of the examined material are uniform across the sample, and the electric field and current
density are both parallel and constant everywhere. Many resistors and conductors do in fact have a
uniform cross section with a uniform flow of electric current, and are made of a single material. The
dependence on geometry (really, a volume dependence: cross-sectional area (A) and length (L)) can be
quantified as:

Fig.1 A piece of resistive material with electrical contacts on both ends.

where ρ is the resistivity.

Both resistance and resistivity describe how difficult it is to make electrical current flow through a material, but unlike
resistance, resistivity is an intrinsic property. This means that all pure copper wires (which have not been subjected to
distortion of their crystalline structure etc.), irrespective of their shape and size, have the same resistivity, but a long,
thin copper wire has a much larger resistance than a thick, short copper wire. Every material has its own
characteristic resistivity.

Resistivity value for few of the materials is given in table 1 for reference.

Equipments Used: DC power supply, Electrical wires for connections, Vernier calipers for dimension
measurement, Keithley 2002/MEM2 81/2-Digit Multimeter for current and resistance measurement.

Experimental procedure:

1. The schematic representation of experimental set up is shown in Fig.2.

Fig.2 A two-wire resistance measurement is simple and accurate enough for many applications.

2. Any contamination, oxidation or surface irregularities can compromise the results of a test. Thus it
is very important to prepare carefully the sample surfaces to be used for contacts. The opposite
surfaces need to be parallel to each other.
3. Measure the dimensions of the sample using Vernier calipers.
4. Assemble the sample properly in the sample holder.
5. Do the resistance measurements.

Results and Discussion: