What does americium-241 emit when it decays?
The first decay product of americium-241 is neptunium-237, which also decays and forms other daughter elements. The decay process continues until stable bismuth is formed. The radiation from the decay of americium-241 and its daughters is in the form of alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays.
What happens if you touch americium?
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.
Why does americium-241 have a long half life?
Like all isotopes of americium, it is radioactive, with a half-life of 432.2 years. Am is the most common isotope of americium as well as the most prevalent isotope of americium in nuclear waste….Americium-241.
What is americium-241 used for in industry?
Americium-241 is used as a neutron source in non-destructive testing of machinery and equipment, and as a thickness gauge in the glass industry. However, its most common application is as an ionization source in smoke detectors, and most of the several kilograms of americium made each year are used in this way.
Why is americium 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. Because of this shielding, the smoke detector poses no radiation health risk when they are properly handled.
Is americium-241 unstable?
Americium-241 is an unstable isotope. The radiation from the decay of americium-241 and its daughters is in the form of alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays. Alpha particles can travel only short distances and generally will not penetrate the outer layer of human skin. Gamma rays can penetrate the body.
What is americium named after?
Glenn Seaborg and colleagues. Origin of the name. Americium is named for America where it was first made. Allotropes.
Why aren’t there any naturally occurring 241 AM 241 AM nuclei around today?
the short half-life of 241Pu (14 years) the original, naturally formed supply has not survived. Since there is no longer a natural source of 241Pu, 241Am is not being formed naturally. Today, americium-241 is produced artificially from the decay of 241Pu.
Do smoke detectors have americium-241?
Smoke detectors are common household items that keep you and your family safe by alerting you to smoke in your home. Ionization smoke detectors use a small amount of radioactive material, americium-241, to detect smoke.
How much of a 1 mg sample of americium remains after 3 half-lives?
Therefore, there is 0.125 mg of americium remaining after 3 half-lives.
What is americium 241 used for in spectroscopy?
Americium-241 is also suitable for calibration of gamma-ray spectrometers in the low-energy range, since its spectrum consists of nearly a single peak and negligible Compton continuum (at least three orders of magnitude lower intensity).
Is americium-241 a radionuclide?
1. Introduction Americium-241 is an important radionuclide for efficiency calibrations of photon spectrometers in the low- energy range, with a significant gamma emission at 59.5 keV and the L X-ray multiplet with energies ranging from 11 to 23 keV ( Campbell and Mc Nelles, 1974 ).
What is the exposure time of americium 241 gamma rays?
Americium-241’s gamma rays can provide reasonable quality radiographs, with a 10-minute exposure time. 241 Am radiographs have only been taken experimentally due to the long exposure time which increases the effective dose to living tissue.
What is the gamma spectrum of 241 Am?
Am241 Gamma Spectrum. 241Am (Americium) Americium is a man made radioactive isotope, and is commonly found in smoke detectors. The source is an alpha emitter, and in the decay process it also kicks out a gamma at 59.6KeV.