J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967) was an American theoretical physicist and one of the key figures in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II.
He was born on April 22, 1904, in New York City, USA.
- Oppenheimer studied physics at Harvard University and later earned his Ph.D. at the University of Göttingen in Germany.
- He made significant contributions to theoretical physics, particularly in quantum mechanics and quantum field theory.
- He was known for his exceptional intellect and ability to grasp complex mathematical concepts.
During World War II, Oppenheimer was recruited to lead the Manhattan Project, a top-secret research and development effort by the United States to build the first atomic bomb.
Under his leadership, a team of scientists and engineers successfully developed and tested the first atomic bomb, which was detonated on July 16, 1945, in the New Mexico desert. This marked the beginning of the atomic age.
After the war, Oppenheimer played an important role in the development of the United States’ postwar nuclear policy. However, his political views and associations with left-wing individuals led to suspicions of his loyalty during the Second Red Scare (the era of McCarthyism).
He faced security clearance issues, and in 1954, his security clearance was revoked, effectively ending his direct involvement in government work.
Despite this setback, Oppenheimer remained active in academia and continued his contributions to physics.