Archibald Vivian Hill

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Archibald Vivian Hill CH CBE (September 26, 1886June 3, 1977) was a British physiologist, one of the founders of the diverse disciplines of biophysics and operations research. He shared (with Otto Meyerhof) the 1922 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his elucidation of the production of mechanical work in muscles.

Born in Bristol, he graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge as third wrangler in the mathematics tripos before turning to physiology. His early work involved the characterisation of what came to be known as Michaelis-Menten kinetics and the use of the Hill coefficient. He made many exacting measurements of the physics of nerves and muscles and is regarded, along with Hermann Helmholtz as one of the founders of biophysics.

In 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, Hill joined the British army and assembled a team working on ballistics and operations research. The team included many notable physicists including Ralph H. Fowler, Douglas Hartree and Arthur Milne.

Hill returned to Cambridge in 1919 before taking the chair in physiology at the Victoria University of Manchester in 1920. Parallelling the work of German Otto Fritz Meyerhof he elucidated the processes whereby mechanical work is produced in muscles. The two shared the 1922 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.

In 1923 he succeeded Ernest Starling as professor of physiology at University College, London, a post he held until his retirement in 1951. He continued as an active researcher until 1966.

World War II saw the beginning of Hill's extensive public service. Already in 1935 he was working with Patrick Blackett and Sir Henry Tizard on the committee that gave birth to Radar. He served as independent Member of Parliament for Cambridge University (1940-1945), a post that enabled him to be active in defending fellow scientists persecuted by the regime of Adolf Hitler. He took part in many scientific missions to the USA.

Honours

Bibliography

  • Hill, A.V. (1924-5) Textbook of Anti-Aircraft Gunnery 2 vols
  • - (1931) Adventures in Biophysics
  • - (1932) Chemical Wave Transmission in Nerve
  • - (1960) The Ethical Dilemma of Science
  • - (1965) Trails and Trials in Physiology

External link

es:Archibald Vivian Hill fr:Archibald Vivian Hill pl:Archibald Vivian Hill

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