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How Smoke Detectors Work

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:41am

Once again we turn to Bill, the “Engineer Guy,” to explain how the world works. This time? Smoke detectors.

It turns out, a miniscule piece of radioactive material, Americium, works in conjunction with a special integrated circuit, called a MOSFET (or Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor). It can detect a change in current as small as 100 pico Amps. This change is what ends up setting off the alarm.

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Have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider? Or do you have a video you’d like to see featured in one of our deployments? Email me at Joel.Hans@advantagemedia.com.

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