The Amazing Americium 241 Periodic Table Element

Americium chemical element periodic table science symbol Stock Photo


In this article, we will talk about one of the most fascinating elements in the periodic table – Americium 241. This element, which is abbreviated as Am-241, has many unique properties and is used in a wide range of applications.


The discovery of Americium 241 is credited to Glenn T. Seaborg, Ralph A. James, and Albert Ghiorso. They discovered the element in 1944 at the University of Chicago. Americium was the fourth synthetic transuranium element to be discovered.


Americium 241 is a radioactive element with a half-life of 432 years. It is a silvery-white metal that tarnishes slowly in air. The element is soft and easily cut with a knife. Americium has a melting point of 1176°C and a boiling point of 2607°C.


Americium 241 has several important applications. The element is used in smoke detectors, where it serves as the ionization source. Americium is also used in nuclear batteries, where it generates power through radioactive decay. Another application is in the oil industry, where Americium is used to measure the density of fluids.

Health Risks

While Americium 241 has many useful applications, it is also a health hazard. The element emits alpha particles, which can damage the human body if ingested or inhaled. Exposure to Americium can lead to cancer and other health problems.

How to Handle Americium Safely

If you are working with Americium 241, it is essential to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from harm. Always wear protective gear, such as gloves and a respirator, when handling the element. Americium should only be used in a well-ventilated area, and any spills should be cleaned up immediately.


Americium 241 is a fascinating element with many unique properties. While it has many important applications, it is also important to handle it safely to avoid health risks. If you are interested in learning more about this amazing element, there are many resources available online and in libraries.