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The Lesser-Known Facts about J. Robert Oppenheimer, The Atomic Bomb Pioneer

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J. Robert Oppenheimer, known as the father of the atomic bomb, is an eminent American theoretical physicist. He is lauded for his pivotal role in the development of the destructive atomic Bomb.

He was well-versed in various languages, including Sanskrit and German, and had an impressive knowledge of Eastern philosophy. He was also politically active in his early career, joining organizations that opposed the war and promoted social justice.

The biography of Oppenheimer, directed by Christopher Nolan is set to release on the 21st of July 2023. The movie follows the life and biggest achievements of J. Robert Oppenheimer, putting the main focus on the creation of the atomic bomb and his pivotal role in spearheading the Manhattan Project. It is said that the movie will also deal with his personal life during those events and his connections to civilians linked to the Communist Party.

Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer: 5 facts you shouldn't miss

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Here are some lesser-known facts about J. Robert. Oppenheimer:

Oppenheimer was the head of the Los Alamos Laboratory 

-He was the head of the famous Los Alamos laboratory that was charged with designing nuclear weapons.

-He headed the team that calculated the chain reaction threshold required for the bomb. The bombs were detonated on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, ending the war and causing widespread damage.

Robert Oppenheimer, Manhattan Project Director |

Source: LinkedIn

Oppenheimer Regretted his role in the creation of the atomic bomb. 

– After the first atomic bomb went off at the test site, he commented that the world will never be the same again and regretted his role in the creation of the atomic Bomb. 

– Oppenheimer said all he could remember at that time was a line from Sanskrit (Hindu scripture) “Now I have become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

-After learning of the devastation of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki war, He wrote to the Secretary of War- Henry Stimson, in which he strongly proposed the ban of nuclear weapons in the arena of war.

11 fascinating facts about atomic bomb creator Oppenheimer - CoventryLive

Source: Coventry Telegraph

Robert Oppenheimer was a Casanova 

– Oppenheimer’s personal life was marked by turmoil and controversy. 

– His romantic endeavors were marred by scandalous affairs, many of which became public due to surveillance by the C.I.A. 

– One such affair involved Kitty Harrison, a married woman whom he impregnated after their union in 1940. Additionally, he engaged in a relationship with Ruth Tolman, the wife of his Manhattan Project colleague, physicist Richard Tolman.

– Despite being married, Oppenheimer maintained a long-term affair with Jean Tatlock, further complicating his romantic entanglements.

Five Facts to Know About 'Oppenheimer' Before Its Release

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 Oppenheimer’s work inspired Hollywood 

-The genre of war films holds significance for various nations, serving as a platform to reshape historical events according to one’s creative vision. 

-The captivating chapter of history, known as the Manhattan Project, captivated the attention of Hollywood and has been portrayed in numerous films.

-Oppenheimer’s pivotal role in this project is highlighted in movies such as “The Beginning of the End” (1947) and “Fat Man and Little Boy” (1989).

J. Robert Oppenheimer and America's Quest Build an Atomic Bomb

Source: History Net

Oppenheimer became a Nuclear Power Regulation Lobbyist

 -Robert Oppenheimer played a direct role in the creation of the sole nuclear bomb. After which he possessed a deep understanding of the untapped capabilities inherent in such a weapon.

 -It is essential to recognize that nuclear energy encompasses various applications beyond military contexts. This recognition led to Oppenheimer being appointed as the Chair of the Advisory Committee of the United States Atomic Energy Commission. 

-He utilized his influential position to advocate for the global adoption of nuclear power. Unfortunately, his opposition to the development of a hydrogen bomb resulted in the revocation of his security clearances.

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Source: Adobe Stock

Oppenheimer could comprehend the language of Gods 

-One intriguing aspect of Oppenheimer’s life is his dedication to studying Sanskrit, the sacred language of Hinduism. Sanskrit, which translates to “perfected” or “refined,” holds the distinction of being one of the most ancient human languages. 

-Within the Hindu religious tradition, it is considered the language of communication for celestial beings. Influenced by Arthur Ryder, a distinguished Indologist, Oppenheimer delved into the study of Hinduism with the same zeal he applied to his scientific pursuits. 

-He openly acknowledged that the Bhagavad Gita, an important Hindu scripture, greatly influenced his philosophical outlook.

File:Trinity Test - Oppenheimer and Groves at Ground Zero 001.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The CIA had Oppenheimer under Surveillance 

-Oppenheimer, known for his sympathies towards communism, not only financially supported communist groups but also maintained close associations with confirmed members. His involvement in the nuclear project granted him access to classified information, which prompted close monitoring.

-Due to his communist leanings, Oppenheimer’s name was included on the FBI’s Custodial Detention List, warranting arrest in the event of a national emergency declaration. During interrogations, he consistently denied any connections to communist affiliations.

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