# Problem: Americium-241 is used in a number of smoke detectors; as this radioisotope decays it causes particles to ionize, conduct an electric current and thereby cause the alarm to buzz. The complete decay of Am 241 involves (successively) α, α, β, α, α, β, α, α, α, β, α and β production.    1. The isotope that undergoes the first β particle emission is: a) U-233   b) Pa-233 c) Pa-239 d) Am-241       2. The isotope obtained when Am-241 has completed this decay sequence is: a) Pb-208 b) Re-205 c) Bi-209 d) Au-209

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###### Problem Details

Americium-241 is used in a number of smoke detectors; as this radioisotope decays it causes particles to ionize, conduct an electric current and thereby cause the alarm to buzz. The complete decay of Am 241 involves (successively) α, α, β, α, α, β, α, α, α, β, α and β production.

1. The isotope that undergoes the first β particle emission is:

a) U-233

b) Pa-233

c) Pa-239

d) Am-241

2. The isotope obtained when Am-241 has completed this decay sequence is:

a) Pb-208

b) Re-205

c) Bi-209

d) Au-209

What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Radioactive Decay concept. You can view video lessons to learn Radioactive Decay . Or if you need more Radioactive Decay practice, you can also practice Radioactive Decay practice problems.

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What professor is this problem relevant for?

Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Keller's class at CHICAGO.