Archibald Vivian Hill CH OBE FRS (26 September 1886 – 3 June 1977), known as A. V. Hill, was an English physiologist, one of the founders of the diverse disciplines of biophysics and operations research. He shared the 1922 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his elucidation of the production of heat and mechanical work in muscles.
|Archibald Vivian Hill|
26 September 1886|
|Died||3 June 1977
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Cambridge|
|Known for||Mechanical work in muscles
Muscle contraction model
Hill equation (biochemistry)
|Awards||Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1922)
Royal Medal (1926)
Copley Medal (1948)
|Fields||Physiology and biophysics|
University of Manchester
University College, London
|Academic advisors||Walter Morley Fletcher|
|Notable students||Bernard C. Abbott
Ralph H. Fowler
Born in Bristol, he was educated at Blundell's School and graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge as third wrangler in the mathematics tripos before turning to physiology. While still an undergraduate at Trinity College, he derived in 1909 what came to be known as the Langmuir equation (see Langmuir adsorption model (Langmuir 1918.). This is closely related to Michaelis-Menten kinetics. In this paper, Hill's first publication, he derived both the equilibrium form of the Langmuir equation, and also the exponential approach to equilibrium. The paper, written under the supervision of John Newport Langley, is a landmark in the history of receptor theory, because the context for the derivation was the binding of nicotine and curare to the "receptive substance" of skeletal muscle endplates.
Hill made many exacting measurements of the physics of nerves and muscles. His earliest experiments on the heat production of contracting muscles used equipment obtained from the Swedish physiologist Magnus Blix. Both before and after World War I he worked on a range of topics in physiology in co-operation with colleagues in Cambridge, Germany and elsewhere.
Hill 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 in succession to William Stirling. Parallelling the work of German Otto Fritz Meyerhof, Hill elucidated the processes whereby mechanical work is produced in muscles. The two shared the 1922 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for this work.
In 1923 he succeeded Ernest Starling as professor of physiology at University College, London, a post he held until his retirement in 1951. He used to keep a toy figure of Adolf Hitler with a movable saluting arm, in gratitude for all the scientists Germany had expelled and who were now working with him.
He was President of the Marine Biological Association from 1955 to 1960. He continued work 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. In 1933, he became with Lord Beveridge and Lord Rutherford a founder member and vice-president of the Academic Assistance Council (which became the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning in 1936). By the start of the Second World War, the organisation had saved 900 academics (18 of whom went on to win Nobel Prizes) from the Nazi persecution. He served as an independent Member of Parliament (MP) for Cambridge University from 1940 to 1945. He took part in many scientific missions to the US.
In 1913 he married Margaret Keynes (1885-1974), daughter of the economist John Neville Keynes, and sister of the economist John Maynard Keynes and the surgeon Geoffrey Keynes. They had two sons and two daughters:
- Polly Hill (1914–2005), economist, married K.A.C. Humphreys, registrar of the West African Examinations Council.
- David Keynes Hill (1915–2002), physiologist, married Stella Mary Humphrey
- Maurice Hill (1919–1966), oceanographer, married Philippa Pass
- Janet Hill (1918–2000) child psychiatrist, married the immunologist John Herbert Humphrey.
Honours and awardsEdit
- Officer of the Order of the British Empire (1918)
- Fellow of the Royal Society (1918)
- Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1922)
- In 1926 he was invited to deliver the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture on Nerves and Muscles: How We Feel and Move.
- Companion of Honour (1946)
- Copley Medal of the Royal Society (1948)
- President of the British Association (1952)
On 9 September 2015 an English Heritage Blue plaque was erected at Hill's former home, 16 Bishopswood Road, Highgate, where he had lived from 1923-1967. Since then the house had been divided into flats and owned by Highgate School, where Hill was a Governor from 1929-1960. It has now been sold, redeveloped and renamed as Hurstbourne. In Hill's time, according to his grandson Nicholas Humphrey, regular guests at the house included 18 exiled Nobel laureates, his brother-in-law, the economist John Maynard Keynes, and friends Stephen Hawking and Sigmund Freud. After-dinner conversations in the drawing room would inevitably involve passionate debates about science or politics. “Every Sunday we would have to attend a tea party at grandpa’s house and apart from entertaining some extraordinary guests, he would devise some great games for us, such as frog racing in the garden or looking through the lens of a (dissected) sheep’s eye.” Sir Ralph Kohn FRS who proposed the Blue plaque, said: “The Nobel Prize winner A. V. Hill contributed vastly to our understanding of muscle physiology. His work has resulted in wide-ranging application in sports medicine. As an outstanding Humanitarian and Parliamentarian, he was uncompromising in his condemnation of the Nazi regime for its persecution of scientists and others. A. V. Hill played a crucial role in assisting and rescuing many refugees to continue their work in this country.”
- Gray, C. H. (1947). "The significance of the van den Bergh reaction". The Quarterly journal of medicine. 16 (63): 135–142. PMID 20263725.
- Hill, A. V.; Long, C. N. H.; Lupton, H. (1924). "Muscular Exercise, Lactic Acid, and the Supply and Utilisation of Oxygen". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 96 (679): 438–475. doi:10.1098/rspb.1924.0037.
- Hill, A.V. (1924–25). Textbook of Anti-Aircraft Gunnery, 2 vols
- - (1926). "The scientific study of athletics". Scientific American. 224 (April).
- - (1926a). Muscular Activity. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8493-5494-3.
- - (1926b). Muscular Activity: Herter Lectures – Sixteenth Course. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins Company.
- - (1927a). Muscular Movement in Man
- - (1927b). Living Machinery
- Hill, A. V. (1928). "Myothermic apparatus". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 103 (723): 117–137. doi:10.1098/rspb.1928.0029.
- - (1931). Adventures in Biophysics. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
- - (1932) Chemical Wave Transmission in Nerve
- - (1960). The Ethical Dilemma of Science, and Other Writings. New York: Rockefeller Institute Press,.
- - (1965). Trails and Trials in Physiology: A Bibliography, 1909–1964; with reviews of certain topics and methods and a reconnaissance for further research. London: Arnold.
- Katz, B. (1978). "Archibald Vivian Hill. 26 September 1886-3 June 1977". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 24: 71–149. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1978.0005. JSTOR 769758. PMID 11615743.
- Bassett, DR Jr (2002). "Scientific contributions of A. V. Hill: exercise physiology pioneer". Journal of Applied Physiology. 93 (5): 1567–1582. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.01246.2001. PMID 12381740. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- "The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/31230.
- Hill, A. V. (1909). "The mode of action of nicotine and curari, determined by the form of the contraction curve and the method of temperature coefficients". The Journal of Physiology. 39 (5): 361–373. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.1909.sp001344. PMC . PMID 16992989.
- Langmuir, Irving (June 1918). "The Adsorption of Gases on Plane Surface of Glass, Mica and Platinum". The Research Laboratory of the General Electric Company. 40 (9): 1361–1402. doi:10.1021/ja02242a004. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
- Medawar & Pyke. Page 122.
- Presidential Address to the British Association Meeting, held at Belfast in 1952
- "A.V.Hill, Nobel Prize Winner and Sports Medicine Pioneer, receives English Heritage Blue Plaque". Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- Rowlinson, Liz (18 September 2015). "Houses stamped with a mark of prestige". Times online. Retrieved 8 October 2015. (Subscription required (. ))
- "Hurstbourne, Highgate" (PDF). Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- Lusk, G. (1925). Lectures on nutrition: 1924–1925. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company.
- Medawar, Jean: Pyke, David (2012). Hitler's Gift: The True Story of the Scientists Expelled by the Nazi Regime (Paperback). New York: Arcade Publishing. ISBN 978-1-61145-709-4.
- Stevenson, L.G. (1953). Nobel Prize Winners in Medicine and Physiology: 1901–1950. New York: Henry Schuman.
- Nobel biography