Americium

Americium
Americium
Symbol Am
Atomic Number 95
Atomic Mass (243)
Discovered by Americium was discovered by Glenn Seaborg and colleagues.

Chemical Properties of Americium

Group Actinides Melting point 1176°C, 2149°F, 1449 K
Period 7 Boiling point 2011°C, 3652°F, 2284 K
Block f Density (g cm−3) 12
Atomic number 95 Relative atomic mass [243]
State at 20°C Solid Key isotopes 241Am, 243Am
Electron configuration [Rn] 5f77s2 CAS number 7440-35-9
ChemSpider ID 22405 ChemSpider is a free chemical database

What is Americium?

  • Americium is a human-made actinide element part of the periodic table with an atomic number of 95 and has no stable isotopes.
  • It was discovered by Glenn Seaborg, Leon Morgan, Ralph James, and Albert Ghiorso in 1944 and isolated by B.B. Cunningham as the isotope 241Am in Am(OH)3 in the fall of 1945.
  • It was named after the America’s (Seaborg 1991; Seaborg and Loveland 1990).
  • Actinides are the 15 elements starting with actinium, atomic number 89, and extending to lawrencium, atomic number 103.

Uses of Americium

  • Americium-241 (241Am) is used in very small quantities in household ionization smoke detectors. Americium is similar to plutonium (Pu) in many ways. While the public accepts the use of minute quantities of 241Am in smoke detectors in their homes, the public reaction to transporting any quantity of 239Pu under suitable controls is very different.
  • It plays a part in nuclear power production as a decay product.
  • Due to the scarcity of Plutonium to make spacecraft batteries, Americium can serve as a viable replacement in the forthcoming years.

Practise This Question

When we put acetone (nail polish remover) in your hand, we will feel cold. Why?