A smoke alarm's battery either creates the charge on the plates or the charge on the ions. Explain.


Answered 1 year ago
Answered 1 year ago
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Smoke detectors contain a small sample of americium-241 (95241Am)(^{241}_{95} Am) which undergoes an alpha decay. Alpha particles ionize the air between the two charged plates and thus produce a constant flow of charge between the plates, through the ionized air. Note that alpha particles are heavy and don't ionize far into the air, which is why they this process doesn't pose a threat from radiation poisoning.

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