David Louis Band

David Louis Band

David Louis Band
Born (1957-01-09)January 9, 1957
Boston, United States
Died March 16, 2009(2009-03-16) (aged 52)
Potomac, Maryland, United States
Fields Astronomy
Institutions Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)
Doctoral advisor Jonathan Grindlay

David Louis Band or David L. Band (9 January 1957 - 16 March 2009) was an astronomer, a leading scientist in theory of the gamma-ray bursts.


David Band was born January 9, 1957, in Boston, Massachusetts to a Jewish family. His father was Arnold Band, professor of Jewish and Hebrew literature at UCLA, and his mother was Ora Band, Hebrew teacher.

After graduating from MIT in Physics (1979), David continued as a graduate student in Physics at Harvard. He got his MA in 1980 and his Ph.D. Physics at Harvard in 1985 in the title of "Non‑thermal Radiation Mechanisms and Processes in SS433 and Active Galactic Nuclei" (supervised by Prof. Jonathan Grindlay).

Scientific work

After he received his Ph.D. Dr. Band held postdoctoral positions at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, the University of California at Berkeley and the Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences at the University of California San Diego. He worked on the BATSE experiment that was part of the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO), launched in 1991.

He also proposed the functional form (known as the Band-function) for the description of the prompt spectra of the gamma-ray bursts.[1]

After the CGRO mission ended, Dr. Band moved to the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) where he worked mainly on classified research and continued to work on GRB energetics and spectra. When NASA planned two new follow‑up missions to CGRO, the Swift and GLAST observatories, David Band seized an opportunity in 2001 to join the staff the Fermi Science Support Center at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC).


  1. ^ "BATSE observations of gamma-ray burst spectra. I - Spectral diversity". SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System. August 1993. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 

External links

  • David Band Personal Website
  • David Band Website at Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Physics Today Death notice