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J. Robert Oppenheimer
The Early Years
A Physicist is Born
Coming to America
Oppenheimer the Radical
The Manhattan Project
Fat Man and Little Boy
Destroyer of Worlds
Oppenheimer in Public Life
Fall From Grace
Reconstructing the Legacy
Suggestions for Further Reading
Suggested Essay Topics
How to Cite This SparkNote
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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?
twelve years old
twenty-two years old
thirty-two years old
forty-two years old
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?
University of Göttingen
7. Oppenheimer studied under J. J. Thompson, who discovered which subatomic particle?
8. What was the second European University in which Oppenheimer studied?
University of Göttingen
9. In what year did Oppenheimer receive his Ph.D. in physics?
10. Where did Oppenheimer teach when he returned to the United States?
University of California at Berkeley
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
11. What did Oppenheimer's students eventually think of him as a teacher?
They thought he was boring
They thought he didn't know what he was talking about
They thought he was the best teacher they had ever had
They thought he was confusing
12. What was Oppenheimer's nickname among his friends?
The Bomb Guy
13. What made Oppenheimer take an interest in politics?
Reading the newspaper
His parents suggested that it would be a good idea
The school ordered him to
He saw how the depression affected his students and saw fascism take hold in Europe
14. Who is Jean Tatlock?
Oppenheimer's girlfriend, who introduced him to radical politics.
Oppenheimer's assistant at Los Alamos
Oppenheimer's first physics teacher
15. With what political movement were most of Oppenheimer's new radical friends affiliated?
16. Who was Haakon Chevalier?
Oppenheimer's communist friend and a professor of French Literature
Oppenheimer's high school English teacher
Oppenheimer's best friend in college
The leader of the attempt to take away Oppenheimer's security clearance
17. What finally made Oppenheimer turn away from communism?
The United States' entry into World War II
Hearing about Soviet atrocities from scientists who had lived in the Soviet Union
The signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact
All of the above
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?
Hydrogen and oxygen
Uranium and barium
Uranium and plutonium
Hydrogen and plutonium
20. Why did Albert Einstein write a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt?
To warn him about the possibility of an atomic bomb
To tell him not to enter World War II
To tell him that Germany had created an atomic bomb
To tell him that Oppenheimer was a Soviet spy
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?
The secret project to develop radar
The secret German project to bomb New York City
The secret project to develop an atomic bomb
The secret project to imprison communists
24. Who was the leader of the Manhattan Project?
General Leslie Groves
J. Robert Oppenheimer
25. What was the location of the secret lab that Oppenheimer directed during World War II?
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Los Alamos, New Mexico
New York City, New York
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?
Shock wave method
Water pressure method
28. When the Allies invaded France in 1944, what did they learn about the German bomb program?
The Germans were ready to detonate their first bomb
The German bomb program was practically non-existent
Hitler knew about the Manhattan Project and was ready to surrender
The Germans had stolen all the secrets of the Manhattan Project
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?
"Oh dear God, what have I done!"
"Oh, brave new world. "
"Death be not proud."
"I am become Death / The destroyer of worlds."
31. On what Japanese city was the first atomic bomb dropped?
32. On what date was the first atomic bomb dropped on Japan?
August 9, 1945
August 14, 1945
August 10, 1945
August 6, 1945
33. Which President decided to drop the bomb?
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
34. What was the May-Johnson Bill?
A bill turning the Manhattan Project over to the military
A bill banning the use of nuclear weapons
A bill handing control of the atomic bomb over to President Lyndon Johnson
A bill supporting the creation of a hydrogen bomb
35. What did the Baruch Plan, presented to the United Nations after World War II, propose?
That nuclear weapons be banned
That nuclear power be placed under international control
That the United States give the Soviet Union a sample atomic bomb
That the United States control all the world's nuclear weapons
36. In 1946, Oppenheimer was appointed the Chairman of the General Advisory Committee of which Commission?
Joint Commission on Atomic Weaponry
Congressional Commission on Nuclear Power
Atomic Energy Commission
Presidential Nuclear Power Commission
37. When did the Soviet Union detonate its first atomic bomb?
38. What was the common nickname of the hydrogen bomb?
The Big Guy
The Big H
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?
That it was the right thing to do
That it was scientifically impossible for such a bomb to work
That it would be morally wrong to build a bomb that was that powerful
That it would cost too much money
41. How much more powerful was the hydrogen bomb than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima?
ten times as powerful
100 times as powerful
1,000 times as powerful
10,000 times as powerful
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?
Yes, but he regretted it for the rest of his life
We may never know
45. Many scientists believed that the hearings against Oppenheimer were intended to persecute him for which of the following?
His behavior at Los Alamos
His support of the hydrogen bomb
His opposition to the hydrogen bomb
His friendship with Edward Teller
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 ?
He was a loyal citizen
He had been a member of the Communist Party
He had been and was still a Soviet spy
He was having an affair with a Soviet spy
48. The Personnel Security Board decided that Oppenheimer should what?
Go to jail
Regain his security clearance
Lose his security clearance
Run for congress
49. The Atomic Energy Commission decided against Oppenheimer because they believed he had which of the following?
A "defective" character
A terminal disease
A big mouth
50. In 1963, Oppenheimer was awarded what by President Lyndon Johnson?
Enrico Fermi Award
Albert Einstein Award
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