Scientific Contributions of Julius Robert Oppenheimer

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Scientific Contributions of Julius Robert Oppenheimer Julius Robert Oppenheimer once proclaimed, "As long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost and science can never regress". This quote not only signifies the high intelligence and intellect of J. Robert Oppenheimer, but it shows his believe that man and science are deeply imbedded in each other. Julius Robert Oppenheimer lived a life devoted to science, and though he may have regretted some of his research, he made enormous contributions to our current knowledge of the building of the atom bomb. Julius Robert Oppenheimer (or J. Robert Oppenheimer as he cam to be known) was born in New York City on April 22, 1904. As a child, Oppenheimer attended the Ethical Culture School in New York City, on Central Park West, which promoted nonsectarian or nonreligious ethical principles. While Oppenheimer attended school there, he was a stand out even among the other bright and wealthy students. One summer during his high school years, Oppenheimer helped his science teacher, Augustus Klock, set-up the lab equipment for the next year. As a reward for his work, Klock and Oppenheimer would often go mineral hunting. At this point in Robert Oppenheimer's life, he realized that he had a love for chemistry. After High school Oppenheimer attended Harvard University and continued to study his passion of science but he also pursued languages, and writing poems and short stories. When Oppenheimer graduated Harvard in 1925, he went to Europe to work in laboratories with two highly regarded scientists, Ernest Rutherford, and Max Born. While working with these two scientists Oppenheimer became frustrated that he had a limited experimental ability. However, Working with these prominent scientists must have helped him later on his life with his own experiments. During the 1920's, Oppenheimer research was devoted to the energy processes of subatomic particles. In 1927, Oppenheimer returned to the United States and began to teach at the University of California Berkeley. While at UCB, Oppenheimer became more politically active. He became more political during the rise of Hitlerism in Germany and especially during the Spanish Civil War in 1936. During the Spanish Civil War, Oppenheimer sided with the republic and that is when he was acquainted with communist students. Only one year later, however, Oppenheimer withdrew from the communist party.

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