Andrew M. Davis
Andrew M. Davis is a professor of Astronomy and Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago. He is the son of American chemist and physicist Raymond Davis, Jr., a Nobel Prize in Physics laureate. His main field of study is the origin of the elements by stellar nucleosynthesis. He currently is the head of a project to build a new instrument called the ion nanoprobe, which will allow isotopic and chemical analysis at finer scales than any contemporary instrument. He is also studying the cometary dust and contemporary interstellar dust returned to Earth by the Stardust spacecraft in 2006.
He is conducting research about the isotopic compositions of refractory inclusions in meteorites to understand the earliest history of the Solar System. Short-lived chronometers such as the 26Al-26Mg system can resolve time differences of only a few tens of thousands of years for events that occurred 4.55 billion years ago. Isotopic fractionation effects and the relative abundances of trace elements are used to constrain thermal histories and redox conditions in the solar nebula and on the asteroidal parent bodies of meteorites.
Tiny (<10 µm in diameter) grains of silicon carbide, graphite, and other refractory minerals and rocks condensed around dying stars (mostly red giant stars and supernovae) survived potentially destructive processes in the interstellar medium and during solar system formation, and can now be found in meteorites. These grains preserve an isotopic record of the nucleosynthesis in individual stars. He is measuring the isotopic compositions of these grains with a new technique, resonant ionization mass spectrometry, that was developed by his collaborators at Argonne National Laboratory.
- Davis A. M. (ed.) (2004) Meteorites, Planets, and Comets, Vol. 1 Treatise on Geochemistry (Eds. H. D. Holland and K. K. Turekian), Elsevier-Pergamon, Oxford, 737 p.
- Davis A. M. (ed.) (2007) Meteorites, Planets, and Comets, Vol. 1 Treatise on Geochemistry, 2nd Edition (Eds. H. D. Holland and K. K. Turekian), Elsevier, Oxford, published electronically at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/referenceworks/ 9780080437514.
- Davis R. Jr. (2003) Raymond Davis, Jr. (autobiography). In Les Prix Nobel 2002, Nobel Foundation, Stockholm, pp. 54–58.
- Davis R. Jr. (2003) A half-century with solar neutrinos (Nobel Lecture). In Les Prix Nobel 2002, Nobel Foundation, Stockholm, pp. 59–79.
- Davis R. Jr. (2003) A half-century with solar neutrinos (Nobel Lecture). Rev. Modern Phys. 75, 985-994.
- Davis R. Jr. (2003) Pól wieku z neutrinami slonecznymi (Nobel Lecture). Postepy Fizyki 54, 191-201 (in Polish).
- Evolution of the Solar System and the Earth
- The Tools of Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry