Which type of radiation is involved in the radioactive decay of americium-241?
Americium-241 is an α-emitter with a weak γ-ray byproduct.
How long does it take for americium-241 to decay?
Metallic americium is a silvery metal, which tarnishes slowly in air and is soluble in acid. Its most stable isotope, americium-243, has a half-life of over 7,500 years, although americium-241, with a half-life of 470 years, was the first isotope to be isolated.
What happens if you touch americium-241?
Exposure to extremely high levels of americium, as has been reported in some animal studies, has resulted in damage to organs such as the lungs, liver, kidneys, and thyroid. It is rare, however, that a person would be exposed to amounts of americium large enough to cause harmful effects in these organs.
What are the six common types of radioactive decay what condition usually leads to each type of decay?
The most common types of radioactivity are α decay, β decay, γ emission, positron emission, and electron capture. Nuclear reactions also often involve γ rays, and some nuclei decay by electron capture. Each of these modes of decay leads to the formation of a new nucleus with a more stable n:p. ratio.
How many isotopes does americium have?
7Isotopes. About 19 isotopes and 8 nuclear isomers are known for americium. There are two long-lived alpha-emitters, 241Am and 243Am with half-lives of 432.2 and 7,370 years, respectively, and the nuclear isomer 242Am has a half-life of 141 years.
Why is americium-241 used in smoke detectors?
Ionization smoke detectors use americium as a source of alpha particles. Alpha particles from the americium source ionize air molecules. This makes some particles positively charged and some negatively charged.
What nucleus decayed when americium-241 and beta particle were produced?
Americium (Am, atomic number 95) is an artificial actinide. Its most important isotope is americium-241 (half-life 432.7 years), which is produced by the beta-decay of plutonium-241.
What are some of the benefits of using americium 241?
Atomic number (number of protons in the nucleus): 95
Is americium 241 manmade or natural?
Radionuclide Basics: Americium-241. Americium (chemical symbol Am) is a man-made radioactive metal that is solid under normal conditions. Americium is produced when plutonium absorbs neutrons in nuclear reactors or during nuclear weapons tests. Americium-241 is the most common form of Americium. On this page: Americium in the environment.
Is americium 241 harmful?
Hazards. Americium-241 has the same general hazards as other americium isotopes: it is both extremely toxic and radioactive. Although α-particles can be stopped by a sheet of paper, there are serious health concerns for ingestion of α-emitters.
Does americium 241 occur naturally?
Americium does not occur naturally. Uses Americium-241 is the only isotope of americium of any practical interest. When it decays, it gives off both alpha rays and gamma rays. Alpha rays do not travel very far in air, but gamma rays are very penetrating, much like X rays.