How Smoke Detectors Work [Science]

By Jason Fitzpatrick on April 22nd, 2011

Smoke detectors are a common household fixture so small as to be almost unnoticeable, yet inside is a host of interesting technology and scientific principles at work. Check out this great video from Bill Hammack–the Engineer Guy–to see how they work.

We highlighted a video by Bill Hammack earlier this year–How and LED-lit Monitor Works–and now we’re back to highlight another, how smoke detectors work. Watch the video above to see how radioactive material, ionization, and simple circuits work together to alert you when a fire crops up.

How Smoke Detectors Work [Engineer Guy Video via Make]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 04/22/11
More Articles You Might Like

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!