One type of commercial smoke detector contains a minute amount of radioactive americium-241 (241Am), which decays by α-particle production. The α particles ionize molecules in the air, allowing it to conduct an electric current. When smoke particles enter, the conductivity of the air changes, and the alarm buzzes.
a. Write the equation for the decay of 24195Am by α-particle production.
b. The complete decay of 241Am involves successively or, α, β, α, α, β, α, or, or, β, or, and β production. What is the final stable nucleus produced in this decay series?
c. Identify the 11 intermediate nuclides.

  • CreatedMay 05, 2015
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