Terrell Hill nsIn thermodynamics, Terrell Leslie Hill (1917-2014) is an American biochemist noted for his 1964 book Thermodynamics of Small Systems, a founding book in the field of nanothermodynamics. [1] Hills’ overall contribution in science, it seems, was to extend the thermodynamics of American engineer Willard Gibbs to ensembles of small systems, particularly in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology. [2]

In 2001, Hill coined the term ‘nanothermodynamics’ themed a shortened version of the older phrase ‘small system thermodynamics’ used by Hill beginning in 1961 to designate the subject of the thermodynamics and statistical mechanics of systems of colloidal particles, polymers, or macromolecules. Specifically, Hill stated: [6]

“This subject, which now might appropriately be called nanothermodynamics, was investigated at some length by the author in 1961−3.”

Hill’s work in this area was influential to Iranian-born American chemical engineer Ali Mansoori who in his 2005 Principles of Nanotechnology attributes Hill as the originator of small systems thermodynamics and the coiner of the term ‘nanothermodynamics’. [7]

Hill, it seems, is a product of the Lewis school of thermodynamics, being that he completed his AB in biochemistry in 1939 and his PhD in 1942 with a dissertation on The Reaction of Diphenylamine Green with Bases and a Theory of the isoelectric Point, both at the University of California, Berkeley. [3] Hill spent a year and a half at Western Reserve University, a year and half at Berkeley (working in the Manhattan Project), four years on the faculty of the University of Rochester, and eight years as a chemist with the Naval Medical Research Institute, Bethesda, Md, after which he joined on with the chemistry department at the University of Oregon in 1957. He moved to the University of Santa Cruz in 1967, retiring from there in 1988, during which period he joined the laboratory of molecular biology of the Arthritis Institute of the NIH in 1971. [5]

1. Hill, Terrell L. (1964). Thermodynamics of Small Systems - Two Volumes Bound as One. New York: Dover.
2. Keizer, Joel. (1987). “Terrell Leslie Hill: Research at Eugene and Santa Cruz” (abstract). Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics, 11: 13-16.
3. Hill, Terrell L. (1942). I. The Reaction of Diphenylamine Green with Bases. II. Theory of the isoelectric Point. Thesis (PhD), University of California, Berkeley.
4. Ferguson, Lloyd N. (1987). “Terrell L. Hill: Theoretician Extraordinarius” (abstract), Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics, 11: 11-12.
5. Hill, Terrell L. (2003). “My Role as a Recruiter at the University of Oregon”, Chemistry News (pg. 9-10), University of Oregon.
6. (a) Hill, Terrell, L., (2001). “Nanothermodynamics”, Nanoletters, 1, 111, 273.
(b) Wang, C.X. and Yang, G.W. (2005). “Thermodynamics of Metastable Phase Nucleation at the Nanoscale” (section 2: Nanothermodynamics), Materials Science and Engineering R, 49, 157-202.
7. Mansoori, G. Ali. (2005). Principles of Nanotechnology: Molecular-based Study of Condensed Matter in Small Systems, (Hill, pg. 85; chapter 3: “Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics of Small Systems”, pgs. 84-114). World Scientific.

Further reading
● Hill, Terrell L. (1989). Free Energy Transduction and Biochemical Cycle Kinetics. Dover Publications.
● Hill, Terrell L. (1960). Introduction to Statistical Thermodynamics. Addison-Wesley.

External links
Hill, Terrell L. – WorldCat Identities.
Hill, Terrell Leslie (1917-) – WorldCat Identities.

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