Americium

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Information @ a Glance

  • A transuranic radioactive chemical element with silvery appearance that has the symbol Am and atomic number 95.

  • Four different americium isotopes are 241Am, 242Am, 239Am and 238 Am.

  • Compounds of Americium are americium di oxide, americium bromide, americium chloride and americium iodide.

  • Americium is a man-made radioactive metal that exists as a solid under normal conditions.

  • The process called nuclear transmutation which is nothing but the americium is first separated and converted by neutron bombardment in special reactors to short-lived nuclides.

  • A few atoms of americium can be produced by neutron capture reactions and beta decay in very highly concentrated uranium-bearing deposits.

  • Americium-241 is obtained directly from plutonium upon absorption of one neutron and 242-Am by neutron bombardment of already created Am-241.

  • Properties includes that it readily reacts with oxygen and dissolves well in acids and also it tarnishes slowly in dry air at room temperature.

  • Adherence very strongly to soil estimated to be 1900 times higher than in interstitial water and binds tightly to loam.

  • It is used as a neutron source, when blended with beryllium in the testing of machinery and in thickness gauges in the glass industry.

  • Americium also is used as a radiation source in medical diagnostic devices and in research.

  • In household applications, commonly used in minute amounts in smoke detectors as an ionization source.

  • In space-related application, americium is a fuel for space ships with nuclear propulsion.

  • Used as a target material in nuclear research to make even heavier element and as a portable source of gamma rays and alpha particles for use in medicine.

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