They knew that the activity of a nerve fibre depends on the fact that a large concentration of potassium ions is maintained inside the fibre, while a large concentration of sodium ions is found in the surrounding solution. Their experimental results (1947) indicated that the nerve membrane allows only potassium to enter the fibre during the resting phase but allows sodium to penetrate when the fibre is excited. (See also action potential.)
Hodgkin served as a research professor for the Royal Society (1952-69),
professor of biophysics at Cambridge (from 1970), and chancellor of
the University of Leicester (from 1971). His publications include Conduction
of the Nerve Impulse (1964).
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