Abstract. The Franck-Hertz experiment with neon gas is modelled as an idealised steady-state Townsend experiment and analysed theoretically using (a) multi-term solution of Boltzmann equation and (b) Monte-Carlo simulation. Theoretical electron periodic electron structures, together with the ‘window ’ of reduced fields in which they occur, are compared with experiment, and it is explained why it is necessary to account for all competing scattering processes in order to explain the observed experimental ‘wavelength’. The study highlights the fundamental flaws in trying to explain the observations in terms of a single, assumed dominant electronic excitation process, as is the case in text books and the myriad of misleading web sites.
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