What happens when americium-241 undergoes alpha decay?

An americium-241 atom will spontaneously throw off an alpha particle. An alpha particle is made up of two protons and two neutrons bound together, which is the equivalent of a helium-4 nucleus. In the process of emitting the alpha particle, the americium-241 atom becomes a neptunium-237 atom.

What is the equation for the alpha decay of americium-241?


When americium-241 undergoes beta decay what isotope does it change into?

In a thermal reactor, 241Am captures a neutron to become americium-242, which quickly becomes curium-242 (or, 17.3% of the time, 242Pu) via beta decay.

What is the alpha decay of americium?

Americium-243 It decays by either emitting an alpha particle (with a decay energy of 5.27 MeV) to become 239Np, which then quickly decays to 239Pu, or infrequently, by spontaneous fission.

Is americium-241 beta decay?

The plutonium-240 changed into plutonium-241, which then decayed into americium-241 through a process known as beta decay.

Does americium-241 produce gamma rays?

Americium and Health Am-241 is primarily an alpha emitter, but also emits some gamma rays. It poses a more significant risk if ingested (swallowed) or inhaled. Once in the body, it tends to concentrate in the bone, liver, and muscle.

How many protons does americium-241 have?


Names americium-241, Am-241
Protons (Z) 95
Neutrons (N) 146
Nuclide data

What isotope is produced by the beta decay of carbon 14?

nitrogen-14 isotope
Carbon-14 undergoes beta decay to the stable nitrogen-14 isotope.

What type of isotope is americium-241?

Americium-241 (241Am, Am-241) is an isotope of americium. 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.

Is americium an alpha emitter?

Americium-241 is an α-emitter with a weak γ-ray byproduct.

What is americium-241 used in?

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.

Is americium-241 an isotope?

Americium-241 is an unstable isotope. As americium decays, it releases radiation and forms “daughter” elements. The first decay product of americium-241 is neptunium-237, which also decays and forms other daughter elements.