Trivia

Hard

The Only Synthetic Element Used In The Average Household Is?

Nobelium
Californium
Americium
Hassium
A small disc of Americium viewed through a microscope.
Bionerd/Wikimedia

Answer: Americium

Synthetic chemical elements, elements that don’t naturally occur outside of a laboratory and must be created artificially, are few and far between. Not only are they typically unstable once created, but they are generally of little use outside of exotic laboratory experiments. In fact, of the 24 synthetic elements like Rutherfordium, Hassium, and Ununtrium, there’s only one synthetic element that has proven itself practical for household use: Americium.

Americium is a relatively soft radioactive metal, first synthesized in 1944 as part of the Manhattan Project’s research. Among the uses that have been found for the metal, such as using it in neutron sources for research or as part of specialty spectrometers, it has found a much more widespread use in the home.

Across the world, millions of people have Americium (in the form of Americium Dioxide) hard at work in their smoke detectors. Ionization-type smoke detection, one of the most common technologies used in home smoke detectors, relies on a source material to emit alpha particles to detect smoke particles. Americium is particularly well suited for the task and a tiny amount is found in nearly every ionization-type smoke detector.

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Natural Disasters Has The Potential To Change The Length Of A Day?

Trivia

Easy

The British Tradition Of Driving On The Left Side Of The Road Is Thanks To?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These U.S. States Is Known For An Architectural Detail Called A “Witch Window”?

Trivia

Easy

By Law No U.S. Military Officer Can Outrank Which Historical Figure?

Trivia

Hard

Who Is The Longest Serving Voice Actor In Video Gaming?

Trivia

Hard

Chocolate Milk Originated In?

Trivia

Hard

Who Gave The Shortest Award Winning Oscar Performance?

Trivia

Easy

Which Character Serves As The Mascot of Pixar Animation Studios?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Office Supplies Was Invented Decades Before It Saw Practical Use?

Trivia

Hard

In The U.S. Air Force It Is A Good Luck Tradition For New Pilots To?