A famous physicist who changed world history by inventing the atomic bomb

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A famous physicist who changed world history by inventing the atomic bomb

During World War II, a scientist is tasked with creating a weapon to turn the war in his country’s favour. This weapon will change the history of both war and the world forever. Julius Robert Oppenheimer, known as the “Father of the Atomic Bomb,” was an extraordinarily brilliant theoretical physicist. Although his career was praised, he had constant problems with the US government and military. Although he is known as the inventor of the atomic bomb, he opposed the production and use of these weapons. In this article we will tell you about the life of Oppenheimer.

For more detailed information about the movie “Oppenheimer”, which tells the story of the atomic bomb, you can also read our article ­čĹç

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Julius Robert Oppenheimer was born on April 22, 1904 in New York.

His father, Julius S. Oppenheimer, was a wealthy German textile merchant, and his mother, Ella Friedman, was an artist. Although of Jewish descent, they did not adhere to religious traditions as a result of American Reform Judaism.

Oppenheimer was one of the students who was distinguished by his academic success during his school years. During his student years, he began to communicate with the New York Metal Club. So much so that the Society invited Oppenheimer to give a lecture, unaware that he was a boy of twelve.

He graduated from high school in 1921, but fell ill with dysentery. almost died. He entered Harvard University in 1922 with the intention of becoming a chemist. Here he realized that his true passion was physics. He graduated with honors in 1925.

He then went to the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, UK, to begin his career in physics. There he became a student of JJ Thomson, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1906 for his discovery of the concept of electrons and isotopes.

In the following periods, he went to Germany at the invitation of Max Born, director of the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of G├Âttingen. Thus, European physicists had the opportunity to observe it closely as they developed the theory of quantum mechanics.


Oppenheimer received his doctorate in 1927. He became a professor at two different universities. He later became friends with Ernest Lawrence, one of the best experimental physicists in the world and the inventor of the cyclotron. During his time in Germany, he published many articles that contributed to the newly developed quantum theory.

He has done important research in areas such as astrophysics, nuclear physics, spectroscopy, and quantum field theory. He made important contributions to the theory of cosmic ray showers and eventually worked on quantum tunneling. In the 1930s, he wrote articles suggesting the existence of black holes. In November 1940, he married Katherine Boening Harrison, a student at the University of Berkeley. In May 1941, his first child, Peter, was born.

When World War II began, he participated in the development of the atomic bomb.

Meanwhile, he was working on neutron calculations. In 1942, General Leslie Groves invited Oppenheimer to become scientific director of the Manhattan Project, a top secret US project to develop the atomic bomb. Oppenheimer chose a location in New Mexico. There, the US Army began building a number of laboratories. The best physicists in America and Europe were brought here and tasked with creating a bomb the likes of which the world had never seen before.

Just three years after the start of the project, Oppenheimer and his team were ready to test the atomic bomb. The Trinity Test took place on July 16, 1945 in Alamagordo, New Mexico. As a result of all these efforts, Oppenheimer began to be called the “father of the atomic bomb.”

Less than a month later, America effectively ended World War II by dropping two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Oppenheimer believed that the second bomb was not necessary. A few days later, he arranged a meeting with President Truman, where he expressed his disgust at what had happened in Nagasaki. After that, he broke up with the boss. After the war, Oppenheimer appeared on the covers of Life and Time magazines. In 1947 he became Chairman of the General Advisory Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). During his time there, he opposed the development of more powerful hydrogen bombs.

That is why those who opposed the Soviet threat stoned him. Accused of communist sympathies, Oppenheimer was removed from his post at the AEC in 1954 and denied all security clearances, at the same time effectively losing his political influence. In the following years he continued to press for international control of nuclear weapons and atomic energy. He died of throat cancer in New Jersey on February 18, 1967, just one year after his retirement.

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