J. Robert Oppenheimer

(Julius Robert Oppenheimer)

J. Robert Oppenheimer
J. Robert Oppenheimer
  • Born: April 22, 1904
  • Died: February 18, 1967
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Physicist









Julius Robert Oppenheimer was an American theoretical physicist and professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. Oppenheimer was the wartime head of the Los Alamos Laboratory and is among those who are credited with being the "father of the atomic bomb" for their role in the Manhattan Project, the World War II undertaking that developed the first nuclear weapons used in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The first atomic bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945, in the Trinity test in New Mexico; Oppenheimer later remarked that it brought to mind words from the Bhagavad Gita: "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

Quote Topics Cited
Atomic weapons with what we know today can be cheap… The cost will not break the bank of anyone who wants them…. Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Weapons & Energy
I am become death, the destroyer of worlds. Death ;Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Weapons & Energy
It will not help to rub the edges off this new terror that we have helped bring to this world. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
It worked. Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Weapons & Energy
It’s finished. Russia wants world conquest. Arms Race & Disarmament
No man in our position and subject to our responsibilities, holding in his hands a weapon of such possibility for accomplishing the purpose and saving those lives, could have failed to use it and look his countrymen in the face. Chemical & Biological Weapons & Energy ;Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Weapons & Energy
See things not as they are but as they might be. Human Nature
The atomic bomb is shit.... It will make a big bang—a very big bang—but it is not weapon which is useful in war. Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Weapons & Energy
The atomic bomb was the turn of the screw. It has made the prospect of future war unendurable. Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Weapons & Energy
The atomic clock ticks faster and faster. We may anticipate a state of affairs in which the Great Powers will each be in a position to put an end to the civilization and life of the other, though not without risking its own. We may be likened to two scorpions in a bottle, each capable of killing the other but only at risk of his own life. Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
The deep things in science are not found because they are useful; they are found because it was possible to find them.. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry ... There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. Our political life is also predicated on openness. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress. Freedom & Liberty ;Secrecy & Transparency
This nation's defense is at stake. I'm cutting off all my communist connections. For if I don't, the government will find it difficult to use me. I don't want to let anything interfere with my usefulness of the government. Secrecy & Transparency
Was there really any chance that an atomic bomb would trigger the explosion of the nitrogen in the atmosphere or the hydrogen in the ocean? Chemical & Biological Weapons & Energy ;Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Weapons & Energy
We have begun to repay the Japanese for their brutalities and their mass murders of helpless civilians and prisoners of war. We will not quit until they are completely crushed. You have an important part to play in their defeat. There must not be a letup! Chemical & Biological Weapons & Energy ;Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Weapons & Energy
We propose to let it be known that the Los Alamos Project is working on a new type of rocket and that the detail be added that this is a largely electrical device… the story will have a certain credibility; that the loud noises which we will soon be making here will fit in with the subject, … and the fact that we have a large group of civilian specialists would fit in quite well … Secrecy & Transparency
We were at war and it was necessary and right for us to make [atomic] bombs. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
Well, you could get a screwdriver and open up each case. Defense & National Security
Access to the Vedas is the greatest privilege this century may claim over all previous centuries.
Any man whose errors take ten years to correct is quite a man.
Both the man of science and the man of action live always at the edge of mystery, surrounded by it. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
In some sort of crude sense, which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Humor
In the material sciences these are and have been, and are most surely likely to continue to be heroic days.
No man should escape our universities without knowing how little he knows.
The atomic bomb made the prospect of future war unendurable. It has led us up those last few steps to the mountain pass; and beyond there is a different country. Future ;War & Peace
The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears it is true.
There are children playing in the streets who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.
When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb. Success