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This is a teacher or student controlled, realistic 3d simulation of an experiment to measure the resistivity of constantan.

Every material that obeys Ohms law (not all materials do) has a characteristic resistivity. The resistivity is a constant for a particular substance that allows you to calculate what the resistance is in Ohms for a wire of a particular length with a particular cross-sectional area.
This experiment allows you to plot the resistance against the length of wire that the current is flowing through. Given that you can find the cross-sectional area by measuring the diameter with a micrometer you can then calculate the resistivity.

The user has control over the position of the crocodile clip on the constantan wire, the voltage from the power supply unit, and the micrometer screw gauge barrel. The user can position him/herself anywhere within the laboratory.

You can try one of the simulations here:
Instructions on performing the experiment and controlling the simulation are within the simulation.

There is a video of this simulation here: The video is here: https://youtu.be/3Af2-Y69sEE

The simulation is perfect for demonstrating this experiment in front of the class but can also be used by students in a variety of ways:

– Directly to prepare for a laboratory experiment by familiarising them with the equipment to be used and the methodology of the experiment.

– As revision for an experiment that has previously been performed in the laboratory.

– For home-learning where there is no access to a laboratory.

– To make up for an experiment missed due to sickness.

– As a personal experience of an experiment normally only performed by the teacher in front of the class.
Download contains full instructions on using the simulation, a PowerPoint giving full instructons including a video , background on the Physics and link to the simulation.

The Virtual Physics Laboratory of which this simulation is a part, has the Association for Science Education’s Green Tick of Approval. More information can be found on our website at www.virtual-science.co.uk.

I’ve found your software very useful when a concept comes up with pupils and I have to demonstrate something really quickly without having the time to set up a formal experiment for them. The graphics are great and I really like the ability to move around the classroom and observe the experiment from different aspects. I am far more likely to go to one of your interactive experiments if it’s demonstrating something that we don’t have equipment for.“

Andrew McPhee Wellington School

I thought that the controls were pretty easy to get used to and the detail in the apparatus was excellent being able to zoom in and see the set up of the multi-meter and read scales, being careful of parallax. This type of software is most useful in experiments which can’t be done in the lab like the gravity on the moon or where the equipment is too expensive or difficult to use like the Millikan Oil drop.”

​Physics Scholar Coordinator.


This product is for a single user and is for personal and classroom use only. Copying any part of this resource is forbidden and violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Purchasing and downloading this product is your consent to these conditions.

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Last Update: 4th December 2023
Released: 29th November 2023