- A professor of French Literature at University of
California, Berkeley, with close ties to the Communist Party. Oppenheimer
and Chevalier were close friends during Oppenheimer's time at Berkeley,
a relationship that would cause great trouble for him later in life.
During World War II, Chevalier tried to convince Oppenheimer to
pass information about the bomb on to the Soviet Union. Oppenheimer
refused, but he never fully reported the incident to the military. This
gave his enemies ammunition later on and made Oppenheimer look like
he was hiding things from the government.
- The brigadier general who
had control over the entire Manhattan Project. Groves recruited Oppenheimer
to direct the Los Alamos laboratory, even though Oppenheimer had
almost no administrative experience. Although all the scientists
at Los Alamos resented the military's harsh security measures, Oppenheimer
and Groves maintained a solid respect for each other. Groves later
testified in Oppenheimer's defense during the hearings about his security
- A fellow professor in the University of California, Berkeley
physics lab who worked with Oppenheimer to improve the department.
Lawrence is the one who first involved Oppenheimer in the Manhattan
Project, by inviting him to an early meeting about the new top-secret
- Oppenheimer's mother. She was a stay-at-home mother
and a painter. Her family had been in New York for generations.
- Oppenheimer's brother. Frank was also a physicist,
although he was never as well known or as successful as his famous
older brother. Frank was also a member of the Communist Party in
the late 1930s, a fact that would later help make Robert Oppenheimer seem
- Oppenheimer's father. A German immigrant who worked
in his family's cloth importation business.
- Oppenheimer's wife. They were married in 1940, after
Kitty divorced her third husband. Oppenheimer's marriage to Kitty
drew him even farther away from the radical politics he had been involved
with before meeting her.
radical psychology graduate student at University of California,
Berkeley. Oppenheimer fell in love with her in the late 1930s and
became heavily involved with her radical friends and organizations.
The love affair ended by 1940, as did Oppenheimer's interest in radical
A European physicist who immigrated to the United States to escape
European fascism. He worked under Oppenheimer at Los Alamos and
stayed on after the war to develop a hydrogen bomb, or "Super."
He turned against Oppenheimer when Oppenheimer refused to support
the development of the Super. Later Teller testified against Oppenheimer
in the hearings about his security clearance.