Julius Robert Oppenheimer Early Life and Family
Robert Oppenheimer was born on April 22, 1904, in New York, to a family of Jewish descent who immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1888. His father, Julius S. Oppenheimer, was a wealthy Jewish German immigrant working in the clothing industry, and his mother, Ella Friedman, was a painter in Baltimore.
They lived in a luxury apartment decorated with post-impressionist paintings on Riverside Drive in Manhattan. They also owned a property on Long Island, in front of which their yachts were moored. They were non-religious Jews interested in art and music.
Julius Robert Oppenheimer’ Education
He graduated from high school in 1921 and went on a trip to Europe, but he contracted a colon infection. Upon his return, he enrolled at Harvard University. He studied chemistry at Harvard University and graduated in 3 years.
Besides studying physics and chemistry, he learned Latin and Greek. He completed his four-year education in three years and graduated in 1925. After graduating from Harvard University, he went to England and enrolled at Cambridge University in 1925, where he began his atomic research at the Cavendish Laboratory.
During this period, he met Niels Bohr in Sweden and completed his doctorate in 1927 in Göttingen, where he went in 1926, where he was working under Max Born. While receiving his doctorate in Göttingen, he developed what is known as the “Born-Oppenheimer method”, which also made an important contribution to quantum molecular theory.
SEE ALSO: Albert Einstein’s Great Inventions
He returned to Harvard University in September 1927 as a theoretical physicist. He worked first at Harvard and then at the California Institute of Technology under Millikan. He began teaching physics at the University of California in 1928.
He visited Ehrenfest in Leiden and Bohr’s follower Kramers in Utrecht with the scholarship he received from the International Education Board between 1928-1929. In the first half of 1929 he went to ETH in Zürich to study with Pauli, another person who contributed to his scientific development.
When he returned to the United States in 1929, he received many academic offers. He was an assistant professor of physics at both the California Institute of Technology and the University of California’s Berkeley campus at the same time.
For the next thirteen years, he divided his time between these two institutions, spending the fall and winter in Berkeley and the rest of the year in Pasadena.
Many of the best American theoretical physicists of those years took lessons from Oppenheimer at some point in their careers. The way he lectured, his style and attitude impressed them all. In 1936, he was appointed full-time professor at both institutions where he worked.
Scientific Studies and the Manhattan Project
Robert Oppenheimer’s scientific interests include theoretical astronomy, nuclear physics, spectroscopy, quantum field theory, quantum electrodynamics, and quantum mechanics. He worked with many world-renowned scientists, including Albert Einstein.
Many of the physicists and chemists who achieved great success in the following years were Robert Oppenheimer’s school friends. In 1936 he began to befriend Jean Tatlock, a member of the American Communist Party.
She married Tatlock in 1936 but divorced 4 years later. He was influenced by communist views. When his father died in 1937, he gave financial support to various left-wing groups with an inheritance of $ 300,000. Although he was in regular contact with many members of the communist party, he did not join the party.
He began to form strong links with politicians and took an active part in campaigns against Nazi Germany’s fascist approaches. By 1940, Oppenheimer had married Katherine Puening Harrison.
The couple had two children born in 1941 and 1944. At this time, World War II had already begun. There were bloody, sad and troubled years all over the world. Since 1941 America had been working on nuclear bombs.
Eventually, Robert Oppenheimer was included in these studies and became the scientific head of the project. The product of the Manhattan Project was the invention of the atomic bomb, which was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, unfortunately, the worst face of science ever reached on earth.
The preparatory work was completed in 1945, when just enough of the uranium-235 isotope was obtained. When it all came to an end in 1946, Oppenheimer was awarded the Medal for Merit by President Harry Truman.
After World War II
Robert Oppenheimer was later appointed chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission’s Advisory Committee. While studying the dangers of radioactivity caused by nuclear explosions, he controversially opposed the development of the hydrogen bomb in 1949.
He came face-to-face with Edward Teller, the inventor of the hydrogen bomb. He stated that the use of this weapon would be a genocide and that no plausible reason could be found for the slaughter of hundreds of millions of people.
In 1959, he accepted the physics teaching offer from the University of Colorado and started working there.
He later designed the Explatorium Science Museum in San Francisco. In 1963, he was awarded the Enrico Fermi Award by US President Lydon B. Johnson. In the same year, the communist accusation against him was pardoned. J. Robert Oppenheimer continued to support international control of atomic energy in later years.
Robert Oppenheimer Death
In 1965, Robert Oppenheimer was diagnosed with throat cancer. He continued his treatment by undergoing chemotherapy for the next few years. He fell into a coma on the 15th of a cold February in 1967, and died on February 18, 1967, at the age of 62.