Science 2: Zoom Meeting August 21st, 2020
This month there were welcome contributions from several members.
David Wormall started proceedings talking about Ellen Ochoa an American engineer, former astronaut and former director of the Johnson Space Centre. In 1993 she became the first Hispanic woman to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.
Bob McEwen followed with an informative and entertaining talk about Americium a synthetic radioactive chemical element with the symbol Am and atomic number 95. Complete with a ‘Blue Peter’ inspired visual aid Bob explained how:
Americium-241 a very low-activity radioactive element that emits alpha particles, a low-energy form of radiation is used in smoke detectors.
As air passes across the americium source within the detector, the radiation ionises any smoke particles. This ionised air is then picked up by an electronic sensor sounding the alarm.
Initiated by contributions from Ann and Ian Murray there was much lively audience participation around the sustainability of the Earth due to various factors caused by humans such as climate change, fossil burning countries and the demands of rapid population growth. To be continued.
Next Zoom Meeting Friday 18th September, 2020, 10.00 to 11.00am.