Gordon T. Danby

  • Memorial Visitation: Monday,  Aug 15th, 2016
    2:00 - 4:00 pm
    7:00 - 9:00 pm
  • Location:  Alexander-Tuthill Funeral Home
     6447 Route 25A Wading River, New York
  • Burial of Cremains: Wading River Cemetery
  • Service Type: Public

  • Biography

    Born: November 8, 1929
    Died:  August 2, 2016
    Age:    86

    Dr. Gordon Danby of Wading River, NY, passed away on Aug. 2 at Stony Brook Medicine. He is survived by his wife Jane, daughter Jennifer, and son Judd.

    A native of Canada, Danby received a Ph.D. in nuclear physics from McGill University in 1956. He joined Brookhaven Lab in 1957 as an assistant physicist, and he was a senior physicist when he retired in 1999. He has been cited for "seminal contributions to magnet technology, including superconductive magnets for accelerators, the ultra-high precision g-2 magnet, magnets for MRI and magnetically levitated trains."

    Danby assisted in the design and construction of high-performance and superconducting magnets for the AGS, the world's largest particle accelerator when it began operating in 1960. His most recognized contribution to accelerator magnet technology is the idea of using separate bending and focusing magnets for the Tevatron collider at Fermilab. All newly built accelerators use this type of magnet technology. Danby also played a major role in designing a superconducting magnet that is the world's largest in diameter for the muon g-2 experiment at Brookhaven, in which an international team of physicists made one of high-energy physics' most precise measurements: how the spin motion of subatomic particles called muons is affected as they move through a magnetic field. He was a member of the 1988 Nobel Prize winning experiment which studied the properties of the neutrino.

    On a more practical level, Danby's work with the Long Island-based Fonar Corporation led to the first use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in open and upright medical scanners. Together with James Powell, a retired Brookhaven Lab nuclear engineer, Danby invented the concept of superconducting magnetically levitated (Maglev) trains, the first economically viable, environmentally friendly, high-speed ground transportation that is comfortable and safe for passengers. These trains have been built in Japan and Germany, and may one day be used in the U.S.

    A Fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society, in 1983 Danby was honored with the New York Academy of Sciences Boris Pregel Award for Applied Science and Technology for his contributions in accelerator physics and superconducting magnet technology. In 2000, Danby and Powell were awarded the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Engineering by the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia for their invention of Maglev trains. In 2006, Danby was appointed as a research professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, NY.

    An engaged citizen, Danby served on the Shoreham-Wading River School Board, as President of the Wading River Civic Association, the Governors of the Wading River Field and Tennis Club, the Riverhead Conservation Advisory Council, and the board of the Long Island Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.

    In lieu of flowers, Dr. and Mrs. Danby have asked that donations be made in honor of their daughter Jennifer's and son Judd's artistic organizations:


    Jen Danby
    Mississippi Mud Productions, 205 W Broadway #7B, Long Beach, NY 11561
    Phone: 917-653-1377

    Mississippi Mud Productions is a Made-in-the-USA Theatre and Film Company working with artists from around the world, with a fiscal sponsorship for non-profit status. Mud's work helps wild animal charities like Big Cat Rescue and others.

    Judd Danby, President and Artistic Director
    The Jazz Club, P.O. Box 242, Lafayette, Indiana, 47902-0242
    Phone: 765-421-6251

    Based in Lafayette, IN, The Jazz Club is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit member-supported organization whose mission is to honor the past, celebrate the present, and nurture the future of jazzby creating contexts in which listeners and performers can experience the music in intimate settings where high-quality performance, deep listening and educational interactionare the centerpieces.

    (Biography includes material quoted from "BNL Newsroom | Four Brookhaven Lab Physicists Named AAAS Fellows." BNL Newsroom | Four Brookhaven Lab Physicists Named AAAS Fellows. Brookhaven National Laboratory, 11 Dec. 2006. Web. 04 Aug. 2016, and "Dr. Gordon Danby, One of the Inventors of the Super-conducting Maglev (magnetic Levitation) Transportation Systems Joins Poly." NYU Tandon School of Engineering. NYU Polytechnic Institute, 28 Feb. 2006. Web. 04 Aug. 2016.)


Alexander-Rothwell Funeral Home
6447 Route 25A
Wading River, New York 11792

Back to Homepage

Serving you and your
family in your time of need.

Contact Us...

By Phone:(631) 929-4111
By Email: