Biography of Terrell L. Hill (1917 - 2014)
born December 19, 1917, Oakland, California
died January 23, 2014, Eugene, Oregon
Terrell Leslie Hill (1917 - 2014) was a distinguished American theoretical physicist, physical chemist and and molecular biologist,
who was a top class scientist in
many areas, mainly in statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, chemical physics, condensed matter physics,
theoretical molecular biology and
biochemistry. He made important contributions to many areas of statistical mechanics, physical chemistry
and theoretical molecular biology.
Terrell Leslie Hill was born and grew up in Oakland, California. After receiving his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, he taught at Western Reserve, Rochester, Oregon, and U.C. Santa Cruz Universities, and lectured occasionally at Howard University. His research interests cover a wide range of subjects in chemistry, physics, and biology. He worked on the Manhattan Project at Berkeley, and has worked in the Federal Government at the US Naval Medical Research Institute and at the National Institutes of Health, where he served as Chief of the section on Theoretical Molecular Biology, National Institute of Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. He spent several sabbaticals in foreign countries, including England, Switzerland, and Israel.
He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1965.
Terrell L. Hill was a very productive scientist and a prolific writer. In the 47 years from 1940 when he was still a graduate student at Berkeley to the day of his seventieth birthday, he has published about 260 research articles, 8 scientific textbooks or monographs, and 2 books of poems. His well-known textbook, An Introduction to Statistical Thermodynamics, has been translated into Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Bulgarian etc. His wonderful book Statistical mechanics: principles and selected applications was first published in 1956, and republished later, in 1987, by Dover Publ. In 1960 this book was translated in Russian on the initiative of N.N. Bogoliubov, who estimated very highly this extraordinary clear and informative book and cited it in his works.
In 1964 Terrell L. Hill published his famous book Thermodynamics of Small Systems, a founding book in the field of nanothermodynamics. Hill's overall contribution in science, it seems, was to extend the thermodynamics of American physisist and chemist J. W. Gibbs to ensembles of small systems, particularly in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology.
Terrell L. Hill has received highest level recognition through Guggenheim and Sloan Foundation fellowships, governmental and professional society awards, and early election to the National Academy of Sciences. Terrell's work has provided theoretical models for physical and biochemical systems. Experimentalists ranging from organic to physical chemists, and from biochemists to molecular biologists, have drawn from his writings for statistical mechanics and thermodynamic justification of their proposed work and interpretation of their results.
One of his latest works was published in 1998 in PNAS:
Terrell L. Hill and Ralph V. Chamberlin,
Extension of the thermodynamics of small systems to open metastable states: An example.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol. 95, pp. 12779–12782, October 1998.
By using a simplified model of small open liquid-like clusters with surface effects, in the gas phase, it was shown how the statistical thermodynamics of small systems can be extended to include metastable supersaturated gaseous states not too far from the gas–liquid equilibrium transition point. To accomplish this, one has to distinguish between mathematical divergence and physical convergence of the open-system partition function.
Books by Terrell L. Hill:
* Terrell L. Hill, Statistical mechanics: principles and selected applications, 2nd ed, New York: Dover (1987)
* Terrell L. Hill, An Introduction to Statistical Thermodynamics 2nd ed, New York: Dover (1986)
* Terrell L. Hill, Thermodynamics of Small Systems - Two Volumes Bound as One. New York: Dover (1964).
* Terrell L. Hill, Lectures on Matter and Equilibrium. (1966).
There are a few places where the biography of Terrell L. Hill can be found.
In 2015 National Academy of Sciences published a Biographical Memoir - Terrell L. Hill.
A Biographical Memoir was written by Ralph V. Chamberlin with a personal recollection by William A. Eaton
©, 2015 National Academy of Sciences.
Terrell Hill - Hmolpedia;
University of Oregon Newsletters;
Additional Material see in:
From statistical mechanics to molecular biology: A festschrift for Terrell L. Hill
Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics, Volume 11, Number 1 / December 1987.