Inside the centre: The life of J. Robert Oppenheimer

1 November 2013

On 8th October Professor Monk, (left in the photograph), from the University of Southampton, gave a biographical talk on the life of Robert Oppenheimer.

This was based on his book and drew attention to the extraordinary extremes of behaviour of Robert Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer was the ideal person to oversee the Manhattan project to build the atomic bomb. He had the drive and knowledge to give encouragement to the scientists as well as the thousands of project workers and to understand all aspects of the work. The achievement must rank as the outstanding project of the century.

However in earlier years he had attempted murder, impressed leading scientists and academics with his abilities, and built the USA's leading school of theoretical physics , which had a world reputation. Subsequently he suffered from the communist purge in the USA. At the end of his life he was reinstated as a national hero.

This was a most eloquent and authoritative talk.

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