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