Radioactive Americium 241

I have 4.4 µCi of Americium 241. Anything fun i can do with it? can i generate light or electricity or make it do something?

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If it was obtained as an encapsulated source no problems. Lots of things, diy cloud chambers, spark gap, scintillation detectors but naturally all would be designed so that the α could actually pass the detector's container etc. A little neutron generator or source for a diy accelerator too. If not encapsulated (and that isn't easy to obtain) glove box for the same reason as slicing fissionables. Hey particle emitters are a lot safer than microbiology or often undergrad chem research and I've done all of it (physics weight in nuclear and accelerator operator). You can detect radioactive material, pathogens you can't and I had some serious close calls with high energy inorganic chem! :)

richgrise4 years ago
If you had a geiger counter sensor, you could electronically capture the random events and use them to generate true random numbers.
Kiteman9 years ago
I wouldn't hang on to it.

As an alpha emitter, it would be extremely unwise to risk getting it within your skin, as alpha particles cause far more damage than beta or gamma radiation.

Remember the Russian killed by radioactive poison? It was a tiny amount of an alpha emitter.

Did you see what he used to do as a kid?

That is scary.
Why, oh WHY did I ever drop out of the Boy Scouts??!!!
Why, oh WHY did I never join?
I thought they'd do dangerous and cool stuff. I guess I was in the wrong troop. ;-(
They never said if he became an eagle scout or not?
I don't think they said. He could be a real poster-boy for scouting! "Kids, Work long and hard, be prepared and you could be like this meth-head... Uh, I mean Nuclear-Hobbyist". On my honor, I will do my best, to not NUKE my neighborhood.
Skin wounds, teeth falling out, etc go both hand in hand with meth use and radiation exposure.... If you look at some of the old video footage of the Manhattan project scientists several of them are grossly disfigured from radiation exposure, and several died from doing things like "licking the dragons tail" (( they did later explode that "Demon Core" but it managed to kill two people when it went critical and super critical before that and it caused burning, skin peeling, and other miserable rad sickness symptoms ))
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