Memoir

J. Robert Oppenheimer

University of California, Berkeley

April 22, 1904 - February 18, 1967


Election Year: 1941
Membership Type: Member

J. Robert Oppenheimer is widely regarded as the “father of the atomic bomb.” In 1941 Oppenheimer was appointed director of the Manhattan Project, in which he directed more than three thousand people doing top-secret research at various locations in addition to handling mechanical or abstract problems. He opened a new research site located in Los Alamos, New Mexico; the first atomic bomb was tested in the New Mexico desert in 1945. After the war he spoke out in opposition to the creation of more weapons of mass destruction. Oppenheimer lost his security clearance, and therefore his ability to work in the classified world of nuclear research, during the McCarthyite anti-communist hysteria that swept the nation in the early 1950s. He spent the remainder of his career at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

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