You probably have smoke detectors like this one in your home. They are one of the most important life-saving devices you can use. Did you know that many smoke detectors contain radioisotopes?
News You Can Use
- Radioisotopes are radioactive isotopes, or isotopes that emit charged particles and energy from the nucleus.
- The radioisotopes in smoke detectors emit alpha particles. An alpha particle is tiny particle consisting of two protons and two neutrons.
- Alpha particles explain how a smoke detector works. To see how, watch this video:
Can You Apply It?
Learn more about how smoke detectors work at the links below. Then answer the questions that follow.
- What radioisotope is found in a smoke detector? How much of this radioisotope is present in a smoke detector?
- What does the radioisotope in a smoke detector normally do, that is, in the absence of smoke? How does it do this?
- What happens if smoke enters a smoke detector?
- What is a MOSFET? What role does it play in a smoke detector? In general terms, how does it work?
- Radioactivity can be harmful to living things. Why isn’t the radiation produced by the radioisotope in a smoke detector dangerous?