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hexAmericium • Actinide Rare Earth

Symbol: Am
Date of Discovery: 1945
Name Origin: After America
Appearance: unknown
Discoverer: G.T. Seaborg
Obtained From: man-made

Melting Point: 1176 K
Boiling Point: 2607 K
Density[kg/m3]: 13.6
Molar Volume: 17.63 × 10-6 m3/mol
Protons/Electrons: 95
Neutrons: 148
Shell Structure: 2,8,18,32,25,8,2
Electron Configuration: [Rn]5f77s2
Oxidation State: 6, 5, 4, 3
Crystal Structure: Hexagonal

Glenn T. Seaborg is credited with producing americium at the University of Chicago’s Metallurgical Laboratory, now known as Argonne National Laboratory. Although extremely expensive to produce in usable quantities, americium has found its way into households as a component in smoke detectors. The element has been used to gauge the thick- ness of glass in manufacturing applications. Although first produced in 1944, its discovery was informally made public by Seaborg in 1945 on the television show “Quiz Kids.”


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