David Browning Thomson was born on October 5, 1927, in Irving, Kansas. David married Patricia Ann on December 27, 1953, and they have three children: Debra Ann Beeson, Barbara Kay Emery, and David Browning Thomson II.
Thomson obtained a bachelor of science degree in physics, a master of science degree in physics, and a doctor of philosophy degree in physics from the University of Kansas, in Lawrence, Kansas.
Thomson worked with nuclear weapon physics, neutron physics, plasma, and fusion energy from 1951 until his retirement in1990. Then he works as a staff member and physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) from 1990 to 1994. From 1995 to 2006, Thomson was a LANL affiliate and guest.