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