Americium: the essentials
The lustre of freshly prepared americium metal is whiter and more silvery than plutonium or neptunium prepared in the same manner. Americium is a component of the smoke detector above.
Americium appears to be more malleable than uranium or neptunium and americium tarnishes slowly in dry air at room temperature. Americium is a radioactive rare earth metal which must be handled with care to avoid contact, since it is a heavy α and γ emitter. It is named after America. The α activity of 241Am is about three times that of radium. Americium is available to qualified users in the UK and in the USA.
Americium: historical information
Americium was was identified by Seaborg and others in 1944 as the result of successive neutron capture reactions by plutonium isotopes in a nuclear reactor.
Americium: physical properties
Americium: orbital properties
Isolation: coming soon!