Counting delta rays

The picture below show 4 tracks of tritons and 4 track of alpha particles in the last 200 μm of their range. 

Triton have 2 neutron and 1 proton, that’s 3 nucleons and this particle weight about 3.0160492 u.

Alpha particle have 1 proton more than triton. It’s mass is 4.001506179 u.  We can consider that their mass are nearly identical, so it’s impossible to discriminate these tracks just by observing the scattering of the particles at the end of their range (scattering is dependent on the inverse square of mass of particle).

But we can observe the number of delta ray, that to say, electron which are free from the binding energy of atoms and that can travel in matter. Most of them are produced with very low energy and thus we can’t see their own tracks. But this low energy delta rays participate to the thickness of the tracks. Triton are singly charged. Alpha are double charged. Alpha particle produce 4x more delta rays than triton, and this difference can be measured by counting the number of grain or measuring the thickness of the tracks.

Between the tritons and alphas tracks, we can see that the contrast of the alpha tracks are better : more delta ray are produced in the alpha, and the thickness is bigger than triton’s tracks. So triton are less charged than alpha.