Gordon T. Danby Photo: Brookhaven National Laboratory

Gordon Thompson Danby of Wading River, a Brookhaven National Laboratory physicist who in the early 1960s co-invented super-conducting magnetically levitated trains known as Maglev died Aug. 2, 2016. He was 86 years old.

Danby was a stalwart of the Wading River community, serving on the Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education, and as president of the Wading River Civic Association and Wading River Historical Society.

In addition to his invention, with Dr. James Powell, of the MagLev, Danby was a pioneer of magnetic resonance imaging. His concepts formed the basis for one of the world’s first commercially successful medical scanners and led to an industry-wide shift in technology that allowed for standing MRIs.

Danby retired as a senior physicist from BNL in 1999 after 42 years at the lab, and was a director of Maglev 2000 and Danby Powell Maglev Technology Corporation.

Danby and Powell were awarded the Franklin Institute ‘Medal 2000 for Engineering’ for their Maglev inventions. Previous Franklin Medal awardees include Nikolai Tesla, Charles Steinmetz, and Albert Einstein.

Danby was also honored by the New York Academy of Sciences with the Boris Pregel Award for Applied Science and Technology in 1983. He was also honored by BNL with its Distinguished Research and Development Award in 1992 for his outstanding contributions to accelerator physics and magnetic technology.

Danby earned his bachelor of science degree in physics and math from Carleton University in Ottowa, Canada and his PhD. in nuclear physics from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He was a fellow of the American Physics Society.

“Working with Gordon has been a highlight of my career,” said MagLev co-inventor James Powell. “I’m sad that Gordon never got to see our vision become widely adopted during our lifetimes, but I know that one day MagLev will be everywhere. Our children and future generations will someday ride upon the amazing machines that once lived only in our imaginations.”

He is survived by his wife Jane and children Jennifer and Judd.

A memorial visitation will be held at Alexander-Tuthill Funeral Home in Wading River on Monday, Aug. 15, 2015 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. His cremains will be interred at a later date at Wading River Cemetery.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.