J. Peter Hobson

By P.A. Redhead

Dr. J. Peter Hobson died suddenly at home on February17, 2003, at the age of 78. He had served the AVS since the 1950s with great distinction in many roles. He was largely responsible for forming the Surface Science Division and was its first chair from 1968-1970. He was Future Symposia Sites Chair in 1967-1968, and a Director from 1979-1981. He received several honors from the AVS. He was made an Honorary Member of the AVS in 1983, won the Albert Nerken Award in 1990, and was made a Fellow of the Society in 1993. For the IUVSTA he was Administrator of the Medard M. Welch Scholarship from 1980-1986.
Peter Hobson graduated in Engineering Physics from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in 1949 and obtained his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1954. He worked for the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada from 1954 until his retirement in 1986. His major field of research was vacuum science and, in particular, physical adsorption; his work on the physical adsorption isotherms of He and N2 over 13 orders of magnitude in pressure will remain his outstanding achievement.
He published more than 80 scientific papers and was a co-author of the book The Physical Basis of Ultrahigh Vacuum published in 1968 and republished as an AVS Classic of Vacuum Science and Technology in 1993. After retirement from NRC, he established National Vacuum Technologies Inc., a consulting company with which he was active until his death. He will also be remembered by attendees at AVS Symposia for his active participation, together with his wife, Isabel, in the annual AVS Runs (they kept up their running habits until two years ago).

Courtesy of the AVS Newsletter