On This Day In Chemistry

September 13th

The first microscopic amount of americium (Am) was made on this day in 1945

This radioactive metal was first produced by B.B. Cunningham and L.B. Werner. Most americium is produced by bombarding uranium (U) or plutonium (Pu) with alpha particles – one tonne of spent nuclear fuel contains about 100 grams of americium. It has few uses other than in smoke alarms.

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