Barry Davids graduated with a B.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1993 and went on to complete a Ph.D. in Physics at Michigan State University. As a Ph.D. candidate, he studied the 7Be(p, γ)8B process that gives rise to most of the high-energy neutrinos emitted by the Sun. Knowledge of this process is crucial to our understanding of the solar neutrino problem. Barry performed studies to infer the astrophysical S factor of this reaction. Barry did post-doctoral work at the Kernfysisch Versneller Instituut, before coming to TRIUMF in 2003.
Barry is the project leader for EMMA (ElectroMagnetic Mass Analyser), a recoil mass spectrometer currently being developed for TRIUMF’s ISAC-II facility. When ISAC-II’s intense beams of exotic nuclei react with a target, EMMA will detect and analyze the reaction products. By studying nuclei at the edge of stability, researchers advance our knowledge of the structure of matter and of the force that holds the nucleus together. Barry is responsible for the conception, design, and funding of EMMA; commissioning of the detector is projected for 2011.
Barry also works on DSL (TRIUMF’s Doppler Shift Lifetimes facility), studying the 15O(α, γ)19Ne reaction. This reaction contributes to the ignition of x-ray bursts on accreting neutron stars. Using the Doppler shift attenuation method, Barry and his colleagues infer reaction rates of astrophysical processes like 15O(α, γ)19Ne by measuring the lifetimes of excited compound nuclei. Barry is the Chair of the TRIUMF Seminar Committee and the Nuclear Astrophysics Scientific Working Group at the Canadian Institute for Nuclear Physics. He sings bass in the Gallery Singers, an early music chamber choir.