Archibald Hill

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Archibald Vivian Hill, an English physiologist, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1992 “for his discovery relating to the creation of heat in the muscle.” Hill was a key role in the development of the fields of biophysics and operations research. He dedicated his life to the study of muscle physiology and was an exceptional humanitarian and lawmaker. His study has a long-term influence, and his work has a wide range of applications in sports medicine. Hill held a variety of academic roles throughout his career. He was a Professor of Physiology at University College London and Manchester University. He was also the director of the University College Biophysics Laboratory and the Royal Society’s Foulerton Research Professor. In addition, he was a pivotal figure in both World Wars I and II. During World War II, he denounced the Nazi regime and aided countless German scientists who had fled to England to continue their research.

Childhood and Adolescence

Archibald Vivian Hill was born in Bristol, England, on September 26, 1886. Little is known about his parents or his early years.
Blundell’s School was where Hill acquired his early education. He was later awarded a scholarship that enabled him to enroll at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was a Third Wrangler in Mathematical Tripos at Cambridge, where he studied mathematics.

Hill went on to study physiology after finishing his math studies. Hill made the decision after his teacher, Dr. Walter Morley Fletcher encouraged him to pursue physiology.

Archibald Hill’s Career

Hill began his work on physiology studies in 1909. He began exploring the nature of muscular contraction because of John Newport Langley, Head of the Department of Physiology. Hill’s attention was drawn by Langley to the issue of lactic acid in muscle and the influence of oxygen on its elimination during recovery. Hill’s first publication, which became a landmark in the history of receptor theory, was published the same year.

Hill employed the Blix apparatus, which he got from Swedish physiologist Magnus Blix, at the beginning of his career. He carried out a number of studies on the heat produced by contracting muscles, resulting in precise measurements of nerve and muscle physics.

Hill was awarded a Trinity Fellowship in 1910. He spent the winter of 1911 in Germany, working with Burker and Paschen. He collaborated with colleagues at Cambridge and Germany on a variety of physiological problems, including nerve impulse, hemoglobin, and animal calorimetry, until the onset of World War I in 1914. In the meantime, he continued his research into the physiology of muscular contraction.

Hill became a University Lecturer in Physical Chemistry at Cambridge in 1914. His focus shifted away from physiology as a result of the appointment. He was a Captain and Brevet-major in the army during World War I. He became the Director of the Munitions Inventions Department for the Anti-Aircraft Experimental Section as well.

He returned to Cambridge after the war and began studying muscular physiology. During this time, he met Meyerhof of Kiel for the first time. Despite the fact that Kiel approached the subject from a different perspective, his findings were comparable to Hill’s. Hill worked on the homeothermic experiments with W. Hartree the same year.

He took over the chair of Physiology at Victoria University of Manchester from William Stirling in 1920. During this time, he continued his research into muscular activity and began to adopt the findings from isolated muscles to the case of human muscular exercise. He discovered how heat is produced in muscles. At the same time, German physiologists Otto Fritz Meyerhof found the link between oxygen use and lactic acid metabolism in the muscle. For their achievement, they shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1922.

Hill succeeded Ernest Starling as the Jodrell Professor of Physiology at University College London from 1923 to 1925. He was named the Royal Society’s Foulerton Research Professor in 1926 and was in charge of University College’s Biophysics Laboratory until his retirement in 1952.

He returned to the Physiology Department after retirement, where he continued his experiments until his death. Hill published numerous scholarly papers, talks, and books during his career. ‘Muscular Activity,’ ‘Muscular Movement in Man,’ ‘Living Machinery,’ ‘The Ethical Dilemma of Science and Other Writings,’ and ‘Traits and Trials in Physiology’ are only a few of his writings.

He was a member of the War Cabinet Scientific Advisory Committee from 1940 to 1946, Chairman of the Research Defence Society from 1940 to 1951, and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the National Physical Laboratory from 1940 to 1945, among other committees on defense and scientific policy.

Hill’s career was not limited to scientific accomplishments and academic posts. He also did a lot of volunteer work for the community. He joined the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning as a founding member and Vice President in 1933. He was also the British Society for the Advancement of Science’s President.
He was the President of the Marine Biological Association from 1955 to 1960. He continued to work as an active researcher there until 1966.

His Major Projects

Hill’s most significant scientific contribution was in the realm of physiology. He devoted his entire life to the study of muscular physiology. He found the generation of heat and mechanical work in muscles as a result of his studies. He was also a key player in the development of the fields of biophysics and operations research.

Achievements & Awards

He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1918, and he was also awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
In 1922, he and German physiologist Otto Fritz Meyerhof were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which they shared.

He was awarded the Medal of Freedom with Silver Palm in 1947. He was awarded the Copley Medal of the Royal Society the following year.
He was elected President of the British Association in 1952.

Personal History and Legacy

In 1913, he married Margaret Keynes. Polly Hill, David Keynes Hill, Maurice Hill, and Janet Hill were the couple’s four children, two sons, and two daughters.
On June 3, 1977, Archibald Vivian Hill passed away in Cambridge, England.

Hill’s previous home, 16 Bishopswood Road, Highgate, was honored with an English Heritage Blue plaque in 2015. Hurstbourne was renamed once the mansion was rebuilt.

Estimated Net worth

Archibald Hill’s net worth is projected to be $ USD 10 million, with a primary source of income as a mathematician, physiologist, physician, politician, biophysicist, and biologist.


Archibald On his desk, Vivian Hill maintained a toy figure of Adolf Hitler with a moving saluting arm. This was to express thanks to all of the scientists who had been banished by Germany during World War II.