Title

Using the Franck-Hertz Experiment To Illustrate Quantization Energy States of the Neon Atom by Electron Impact

Publication Date

1994

Journal

J. Chem. Educ.

Volume

71

First Page

466

Last Page

468

Abstract

na provide students with motivation for the study of quantum mechanics. That microscopic matter exists in quantized states can be demonstrated with modem versions of historic experiments: atomic line spectra (I), resonance potentials, and blackbody radiation. The resonance potentials of mercury were discovered by Franck and Hertz in 1914 (2). Their experiment consisted of bombarding atoms by electrons, and detecting the kinetic energy loss of the scattered electrons (3). Prior to the Franck-Hertz experiment, spectroscopic work bv Balmer and Rvdbere revealed that atoms emitted radiatibn at discrete ekergiis. The Franck-Hertz experiment showed directly that auantized enerm levels in an atom are real, not jist optiEal artifacts. atom can be raised to excited states by inelastic collisions with electrons as well as lowered from excited states by emission of photons. The classic Franck-Hertz experiment is carried out with mercury (4-7). Here we present an experiment for the study of resonance potentials using neon.

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