Americium in smoke detector

Americium in smoke detector

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Americium. Close-up view of the active part of a domestic smoke detector. At the centre of this is a piece of americium dioxide (AmO2). Americium is a radioactive transuranic metal of the actinide group. Americium-241 is used in smoke detectors as is decays with alpha radiation and has a half-life of over 400 years. The radiation it produces passes through an ionisation chamber where it enables a constant current to pass. If any smoke particles enter the chamber, the current is interrupted and the alarm triggered.

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Keywords: 241am, actinide, alpha decay, alpha emitter, alpha particle, am, americium, americium dioxide, americium-241, artificial, black background, chemical, chemistry, close-up, component, cut out, cut-out, cutout, education, element, example, ionisation, ionising, macro, metal, no-one, nobody, physics, radiation, radioactive, school, school science, science education, smoke detector, studio shot, transuranic, use

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