Experiments in ionizing neon are described in which heavy-particle and electron densities are measured and compared with the current kinetic model. The experimental results allow a determination of the atom-atom collisional excitation cross-section constant, giving a value of (8±2) × 10−20 cm2/eV for the range of conditions examined. The population of two of the excited-state levels of the atom are measured and compared with theoretical predictions. The experimental populations are found to follow the expected behaviour in the quasi-equilibrium region, but are several orders of magnitude higher than predicted in the nonequilibrium zone. These findings suggest that the depopulation of excited states through ionizing collisions occurs more slowly than expected. Absorption linewidths and line shifts are also measured in the quasi-equilibrium region and found to compare well with theory. A small precurson population is also observed and population measurements in this region are compared with other experimental results in argon and krypton.