Americium 50mm Lucite Cube

Americium (5).JPG
Americium (5).JPG

Americium 50mm Lucite Cube

295.00

We're very happy to be able to offer this sample of radioactive americium. Element collectors are no doubt aware of the fact that americium is found in most homes standing sentry in their smoke detectors. This synthetic and highly radioactive metal is tasked to this purpose by its ability to shoot a constant stream of alpha particles from the decomposition of its atoms into simpler elements. The stream of particles can travel short distances in air but will collide at the first speck of dust that gets in its way. A detector can exploit this by simply putting a sensor at the other side of the americium sample and wait for a change, such as would occur if tiny particles of smoke flew between the sensor-americium gap, in which case it triggers an alarm.

The amount of americium in smoke detectors however is vanishingly small because modern circuitry has been refined to the point where they're very sensitive so that only a microscopic amount of americium is needed to do the job. However, this wasn't always the case. The first smoke detectors that came on the market back in the 1960s were cumbersome electro-mechanical devices that employed far larger amounts of americium. Extracting the business end of these vintage detectors thus provides one with the rare opportunity to acquire the elusive element.

The americium used in these early detectors was alloyed with silver and deposited on a bed of pure gold from the sheets of which strips were cut. Each strip was rated at 26.6uCi or approximately .03mg of Am241. If isolated, this amount would appear like a small grain of salt. Very small but easily visible with the naked eye!

Obviously, this is a rare opportunity for an elements collector as the supply of these old americium strips is very limited. The owner of this cube can be guaranteed to have a truly unique and compelling scientific collectible!

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