1904-1967 American Physicist

Julius Robert Oppenheimer was born in New York City. He took an early interest in geology. He sent letters to the New York Minerology Club, who then suggested he submit a paper. This paper was his first published work, at the age of 12.

He taught theoretical physics concurrently at the California Institute of Technology and University of California at Berkley. He investigated electron-positron pairs, cosmic ray theory, and deuteron reactions.

He joined the Manhattan Project in 1942 and directed the Los Alamos laboratory between 1943 and 1945, where he featured centrally in the Making of the Atomic Bomb and became known as the "father of the atomic bomb."

Books he wrote:

Related nodes:

In 1963 the Atomic Energy Commission gave him the Enrico Fermi Award.

Source: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/bomb/peopleevents/pandeAMEX65.html Last Updated 05.13.03

If a thousand suns were to rise together one morning,
that light would be a little like the glory of the Lord,
for I am become Death, the shatterer of worlds.
-- Oppenheimer, quoting the Bhagavad Gita upon witnessing the first artificial atomic detonation

It's a little-known fact that Oppenheimer's first love in physics was not particle theory, as such, but gravitation, and published the first papers that explained the theoretical bases of neutron stars and black holes. I've often wondered what would have happened if he'd stopped smoking cigarettes (the cause of the cancer that killed him) and held on for a few more years. He and Stephen Hawking (or Carl Sagan) would have made an interesting pair, and his artistic/philosophical leanings and notoriously fine-tuned sensorium (he was one of the first notable Americans to have a passion for obscure Asian food, among other things) would have been right at home in the Seventies.

This is a project that I did at school a few years ago, most of the information is my own, however I did get some from http://www.webstationone.com/fecha/cal-a pril/apr22.htm for a little help.

Oppenheimer, J. Robert (1904-1967), American physicist and government adviser, who directed the development of the first atomic bombs.

Oppenheimer was born in New York City on April 22, 1904, and was educated at Harvard University and the universities of Cambridge and Göttingen. After serving with the International Education Board (1928-1929), he became a professor of physics at the University of California and the California Institute of Technology (1929-1947), where he built up large schools of theoretical physics. He was noted for his contributions relating to the quantum theory, the theory of relativity, cosmic rays, positrons, and neutron stars.

During a leave of absence (1943-1945), Oppenheimer served as director of the atomic bomb project at Los Alamos, New Mexico. His leadership and organizational skills earned him the Presidential Medal of Merit in 1946. In 1947 he became director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey, serving there until the year before his death. He was also chairman of the General Advisory Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission, or AEC, from 1947 to 1952 and served thereafter as an adviser. In 1954, however, he was suspended from this position on charges that his past association with Communists and so-called fellow travelers made him a poor security risk. This action reflected the political atmosphere of the time, as well as the dislike of some politicians and military figures for Oppenheimer's opposition to development of the hydrogen bomb and his support of arms control; his loyalty was not really in doubt. Subsequently, efforts were made to clear his name, and in 1963 the AEC conferred on him its highest honor, the Enrico Fermi Award. Oppenheimer devoted his final years to study of the relationship between science and society; he died in Princeton on February 18, 1967. His writings include Science and the Common Understanding (1954) and Lectures on Electrodynamics (pub. posthumously 1970).

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