Raymond Davis Jr. earned a 1937 B.S. and 1940 M.S. from the University of Maryland, and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Yale University, 1942. After his 1942-46 service in the U.S. Army Air Force and two years with the Monsanto Chemical Company, he came to Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1948 to join the staff of the Chemistry Department. He received tenure in 1956 and was named senior chemist in 1964. Retiring from the Laboratory in 1984, Davis joined the University of Pennsylvania in 1985, but maintained an active appointment at Brookhaven as a research collaborator in the Chemistry Department.
A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Davis won numerous scientific awards, including the 1978 Cyrus B. Comstock Prize from the National Academy of Sciences; the 1988 Tom W. Bonner Prize from the American Physical Society; the 1992 W.K.H. Panofsky Prize, also from APS; the 1999 Bruno Pontecorvo Prize from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia; the 2000 Wolf Prize in Physics, which he shared with Masatoshi Koshiba, University of Tokyo, Japan; the 2002 National Medal of Science; and the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2002 (shared with Masatoshi Koshiba of Japan, and Riccardo Giacconi of the U.S).
From 1971-73, he was a member of the National Aeronautics & Space Administrationís Lunar Sample Review Board, and was involved in the analysis of lunar dust and rocks collected by the crew of Apollo 11 on NASAís historic first flight to the moon.
Davis was born in Washington, D.C., on October 14, 1914 and passed away at his home in Blue Point, New York on May 31, 2006.