Bromley, D. Allan Formerly, Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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Energetic electrons ejected from atoms in matter by the passage of ionizing particles. In every primary ionizing collision between a charged particle and an atom, one or more electrons are ejected. Delta electrons are, by definition, that small fraction of these emitted electrons having energies which are large compared to the ionization potential. The name is a traditional one—comparable to alpha particles, for energetic helium nuclei, and beta particles, for energetic electrons emitted in radioactive decays. See also: Alpha particles; Beta particles; Charged particle interactions; Ionization
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