David Merritt is an American astrophysicist and professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. He received his PhD in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University and held postdoctoral positions at the University of California, Berkeley and the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics in Toronto. His fields of specialization include dynamics and evolution of galaxies, supermassive black holes, and computational astrophysics.
David Merritt is a former Chair of the Division on Dynamical Astronomy of the American Astronomical Society. He is a founding member of the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation at RIT.
His scientific contributions include Osipkov-Merritt models, black hole spin flips, the Leonard-Merritt mass estimator, the M-sigma relation, stellar systems with negative temperatures,  and rotational Brownian motion.
Awards and Honors
- Merritt, David (1985). "Spherical Stellar Systems with Spheroidal Velocity Distributions". The Astronomical Journal 90: 1027–1037. Bibcode:1985AJ.....90.1027M. doi:10.1086/113810.
- Merritt, David; Ekers, Ron (2002). "Tracing Black Hole Mergers through Radio Lobe Morphology". Science 297: 1310–1313. arXiv:astro-ph/0208001. Bibcode:2002Sci...297.1310M. doi:10.1126/science.1074688.
- Leonard, Peter; Merritt, David (1989). "The Mass of the Open Star Cluster M35 as Derived from Proper Motions". The Astronomical Journal 339: 195–208. Bibcode:1989ApJ...339..195L. doi:10.1086/167287.
- Ferrarese, Laura; Merritt, David (2000). "A Fundamental Relation between Supermassive Black Holes and Their Host Galaxies". The Astrophysical Journal 539: L9–L12. arXiv:astro-ph/0006053. Bibcode:2000ApJ...539L...9F. doi:10.1086/312838.
- Merritt, David; Tremaine, Scott; Johnstone, Doug (1989). "Models of Violently Relaxed Galaxies". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 236: 829–841. Bibcode:1989MNRAS.236..829M.
- Merritt, David (2002). "Rotational Brownian Motion of a Massive Binary". The Astrophysical Journal 568: 998–1003. arXiv:astro-ph/0107569. Bibcode:2002ApJ...568..998M. doi:10.1086/339035.
Books by David Merritt
- Merritt, D. Dynamics and Evolution of Galactic Nuclei (Princeton: Princeton University Press), 551 pp., 2013
Popular Articles by David Merritt
- Ferrarese, L. and Merritt, D. (2002). Supermassive Black Holes. Physics World, June 2002, p. 41.