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J. Robert Oppenheimer

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Study Questions and Suggested Essay Topics

Suggestions for Further Reading

1. From where was Oppenheimer's family?

2. What type of science was Oppenheimer first interested in as a child?

3. How old was Oppenheimer when he presented his first scientific paper?

4. At Harvard University, how many courses did Oppenheimer take each semester, on average?

5. In what subject did Oppenheimer major while at Harvard?

6. Where did Oppenheimer first study when he was in Europe?

7. Oppenheimer studied under J. J. Thompson, who discovered which subatomic particle?

8. What was the second European University in which Oppenheimer studied?

9. In what year did Oppenheimer receive his Ph.D. in physics?

10. Where did Oppenheimer teach when he returned to the United States?

11. What did Oppenheimer's students eventually think of him as a teacher?

12. What was Oppenheimer's nickname among his friends?

13. What made Oppenheimer take an interest in politics?

14. Who is Jean Tatlock?

15. With what political movement were most of Oppenheimer's new radical friends affiliated?

16. Who was Haakon Chevalier?

17. What finally made Oppenheimer turn away from communism?

18. What is the name of the physical process that made the atomic bomb possible?

19. The two radioactive elements that would be used in the creation of the first atomic bombs were which two of the following?

20. Why did Albert Einstein write a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt?

21. In what year did Oppenheimer first learn that the United States was working on a secret atomic bomb project?

22. What kind of uranium isotope was necessary for the atomic bomb?

23. What was the Manhattan Project?

24. Who was the leader of the Manhattan Project?

25. What was the location of the secret lab that Oppenheimer directed during World War II?

26. What was the code-name for the bomb dropped on Hiroshima?

27. What was the name of the method that made the Hiroshima bomb work?

28. When the Allies invaded France in 1944, what did they learn about the German bomb program?

29. What was the code-name for the site of the first nuclear bomb explosion?

30. What words went through Oppenheimer's head when he saw the first nuclear explosion?

31. On what Japanese city was the first atomic bomb dropped?

32. On what date was the first atomic bomb dropped on Japan?

33. Which President decided to drop the bomb?

34. What was the May-Johnson Bill?

35. What did the Baruch Plan, presented to the United Nations after World War II, propose?

36. In 1946, Oppenheimer was appointed the Chairman of the General Advisory Committee of which Commission?

37. When did the Soviet Union detonate its first atomic bomb?

38. What was the common nickname of the hydrogen bomb?

39. Which physicist was the biggest supporter of the hydrogen bomb project?

40. What was Oppenheimer's reaction to the suggestion that the United States should build a hydrogen bomb?

41. How much more powerful was the hydrogen bomb than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima?

42. In 1953, J. Edgar Hoover received a letter alleging that Oppenheimer was which of the following?

43. The tendency in 1950s to accuse everyone of having been a communist is known as

44. Was Oppenheimer ever a member of the Communist Party?

45. Many scientists believed that the hearings against Oppenheimer were intended to persecute him for which of the following?

46. Who was one of the only prominent physicists to testify against Oppenheimer at his loyalty hearings?

47. The Personnel Security Board decided which of the following about Oppenheimer ?

48. The Personnel Security Board decided that Oppenheimer should what?

49. The Atomic Energy Commission decided against Oppenheimer because they believed he had which of the following?

50. In 1963, Oppenheimer was awarded what by President Lyndon Johnson?

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J. Oppie is cool

by thrhekhidsurhtosihrf453253, October 31, 2012

oppie is cool

Oppenheimer - Not a martyr

by Peter60, July 16, 2013

I was disturbed by this edition of Spark Notes. Oppenheimer got a raw deal but he brought a lot of the problems on himself. His wife, girlfriend, brother, and many of his friends had ties to the Communist Party. He lied to investigators about his relationships. Considering that the Soviet Union had exploded an atomic bomb with help from their agents in the US like Klaus Fuchs, concerns about Oppenheimer were more than justified. Also, General Groves testified at the hearing - not a trial - that he would not approve Oppenheimer's security cle... Read more

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