EXHIBITS: The Bomb's Conflicted Father

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Science  23 Apr 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5670, pp. 495
DOI: 10.1126/science.304.5670.495a

Physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904–1967) was a theoretician who managed the secret laboratory that developed the atomic bomb. He was a hard-nosed scientist who liked to quote the English poet John Donne and the Hindu holy book the Bhagavad-Gita. He became the U.S. government's top atomic adviser, but the FBI shadowed him and tapped his phone. Launched to mark Oppenheimer's 100th birthday on 22 April, this new site from the University of California, Berkeley, lets you explore the contradictions and controversies of his life. Follow Oppenheimer's early struggles and later triumphs in graduate school, his work with the Manhattan Project, and his failed postwar campaign for international controls on atomic weapons. The site also lays out the convoluted series of events that led the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission to revoke his security clearance in late 1953.

Visitors can watch video from The Day After Trinity, a documentary about the making of the A-bomb, and peruse documents and period photos.


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