Robert Oppenheimer, letters and recollections

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Personal letters of the early, not-yet public Oppenheimer take him from 1922 to 1945, when he left Los Alamos, from romantic enthusiasm to troubled vision and are accompanied by an unpublished interview and recollections of people who knew him

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Work frantic bad and graded A
Making myself for a career
HI Physics and the excellences of the life it brings

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About the author (1980)

An American physicist, born in New York City, Robert Oppenheimer graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude in 1925. He made significant contributions to the development of quantum mechanics and was the key figure in the rapid development of the first atom bomb. After extensive study with key researchers in Britain and Germany (he received his Ph.D. in 1927 from the University of Gottingen), Oppenheimer returned to the United States to establish and run simultaneously two influential schools of theoretical physics, at the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley. Theoretical physics had never before been studied with such intensity in the United States. During the 1930s, he made numerous contributions to atomic and nuclear physics. Oppenheimer and his students developed almost all consequences of the Dirac theory of the electron, including the predicted positively charged electron, discovered by Carl Anderson in 1932 and named the position. Oppenheimer also published early papers, theoretically discussing black holes and neutron stars. These papers were ignored by astronomers for many years. Oppenheimer is best known to the general public as the leader of the successful American effort to develop the atom bomb at Los Alamos, New Mexico (1942--45). In 1947 he was appointed director of the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey. After the war, Oppenheimer made powerful enemies by his opposition to the development of the hydrogen bomb and by his public proposals for international control of atomic energy. In 1954, during the McCarthy era, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) declared him a "security risk," thereby greatly disturbing many scientists. In 1963, AEC reversed its position, nominating Oppenheimer for its Fermi Prize in recognition of his many achievements.

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