18 Surprising J. Robert Oppenheimer Facts that Will Leave You in Wonder

Little friends, let me introduce you to Julius Robert Oppenheimer! 😲!

This amazing American theoretical physicist is often credited as the “father of the atomic bomb “for his contribution to the Manhattan Project!

This person, who was tasked with developing devastating weapons, has many interesting facts to offer!

So, let’s explore some wonderful facts about him! 😲!

Amazing J. Robert Oppenheimer facts

Birth of Oppenheimer: Explore the birth secrets of this famous physicist

Birth Of Oppenheimer

Hey little friends, did you know that Oppenheimer was born into a Jewish family?

This famous person took birth on April 22, 1904, in New York City!

His mom was a painter, Ella 👩, and his dad 👨 was a wealthy textile importer, Julius Seligmann Oppenheimer!

Oppenheimer: Meet a versatile scholar

Initially, Oppenheimer was educated at Alcuin Preparatory School!

Later in 1911, he entered the Ethical Culture Society School! Felix Adler founded this school to promote a form of ethical training depending on the Ethical Culture movement!

Oppenheimer was a versatile scholar and was quite interested in French and English literature, especially in mineralogy!

Another interesting fact that will really amaze you, like me, is that he completed both his third and fourth grades in just one year and skipped half of the eighth grade!!

Interesting, isn’t it?

Oppenheimer was quite interested in chemistry

Oppenheimer's Interest In Chemistry

Love to read chemistry? Then you will surely love this wonderful fact about J. R. Oppenheimer!

During his final year, Oppenheimer became interested in the subject of chemistry🧪!!

He completed his graduation in 1921 and entered Harvard College 🏛️.

At that time, he was just 18!

Oppenheimer majored in chemistry; however, Harvard required science students to also study a few other subjects, like literature, history, math, or philosophy!

So, he compensated for his late start by taking six courses per term! He even got admitted to the undergraduate honor society Phi Beta Kappa!

Though Oppenheimer had self-destructive tendencies, he was a real genius

Oppenheimer had a tall, thin build, and he was even a chain smoker!

He often neglected to eat during periods of intense concentration and thought!

According to his friends, he had self-destructive tendencies as well. 

Throughout his life, Oppenheimer was troubled by periods of depression, and once, he even told his brother, “I need physics more than friends.”

Despite these facts, he was a true genius.

He graduated with distinction and also was the youngest member of the New York Mineralogical Society.

Oppenheimer studied under Max Born

Oppenheimer Studied Under Max Born

In 1926, Oppenheimer went to study under Max Born at the University of Gottingen!

Gottingen was one of the leading centers in the world for theoretical physics!

While studying at Gottingen, Oppenheimer was quite famous for being too enthusiastic in discussions, sometimes to the point of having control over seminar sessions!

There is an interesting story…

Due to this attitude of Oppenheimer, some of Born’s students presented Born with a petition to quiet down Oppenheimer.

Otherwise, they will boycott the class!

Born left the petition out on his desk so that Oppenheimer could read it, and it worked!!

Married life of Oppenheimer: He was his wife’s fourth husband

Have you heard this interesting secret about Oppenheimer? No? Let me tell you.

After being pregnant with Oppenheimer’s child Katherine (Kitty) Puening obtained a quick divorce from her third husband, Harrison!

On November 1, 1940, she 👰‍♀️ took Oppenheimer as her fourth husband.

Later, their first child, Peter, took birth in May 1941, and their second child was born on December 7, 1944, in Los Alamos, New Mexico!

J. Robert Oppenheimer: He was the head of the Los Alamos Laboratory

J. Robert Oppenheimer: The Head Of Laboratory

Oppenheimer is among those famous people who are credited with the making of the first atomic bomb 💣!!

He was the head of Los Alamos Laboratory, which had the responsibility of designing nuclear weapons!

The laboratory fell under the Manhattan Project!

 It happened when President Roosevelt asked the scientists👨‍🔬 to develop a powerful bomb as fast as possible!

The United States wanted to create one before the Germans!

With Oppenheimer as the head, a team calculated the chain reaction threshold needed for the bomb!

He was present during the bomb testing that occurred in 1945 in the desert of New Mexico!

Robert Oppenheim was a famous Casanova

Though he was a brilliant administrator and scientist, his romantic life was still a disaster!

This famous American physicist carried on several scandalous sexual affairs!

As you have already learned about his affair with his wife before marriage, you will be quite surprised to know that even after his marriage, Oppenheimer had a long-term affair with Jean Tatlock!

He even had an affair with Ruth Tolman, who was the wife of another physicist of the Manhattan Project, Richard Tolman!

The story of his affairs became public knowledge because he was under C. I. A. surveillance!

Oppenheimer: He became a Nuclear Power Regulation Lobbyist

Oppenheimer: Nuclear Power Regulation Lobbyist

I am very surprised to explore this interesting fact about Oppenheimer!

As a nuclear power☢️ specialist, Oppenheimer had direct involvement in the making of the only nuclear weapon deployed in a war!

He was even well aware of the unbelievable potential of the weapon!

Apart from war, nuclear energy has many other uses! Later, he was appointed to Chair the Advisory Committee of the United States Atomic Energy Commission!

Oppenheimer even used his strategic position to lobby for global nuclear power! 

Even his security clearances were revoked, as he opposed the development of a hydrogen 💣 bomb.

Oppenheimer is actually the Father of the Atomic bomb

On July 1945, Oppenheimer had to witness the first successful detonation of a nuclear weapon!

That moment marked the beginning of the nuclear age and even changed the course of history!

Oppenheimer, the scientific director of the Manhattan Project, witnessed that the explosion created a mushroom cloud that rose to a height of 40,000 feet!

Later, he remarked, “Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of worlds.”

He said this because he had regrets for creating weapons of devastation and mass destruction!

However, despite his strong opposition, the hydrogen bomb was still created and even tested in 1952!

The U.S. Army detonated the bombs of the Manhattan Project

J. Robert Oppenheimer With The U.S. Army

The army of the United States detonated the bombs in Japan’s two important places, Hiroshima and Nagasaki!

In August 1945, the U.S. detonated destructive nuclear bombs over Hiroshima and three days later over Nagasaki!

Those bombs killed tens of thousands of people in Japan!

Oppenheimer, on learning of the mass destruction, opposed the further development of the bomb and even resigned from the Los Alamos Laboratory!

He, along with his colleagues, felt that the second bomb was completely unnecessary!

Later, Oppenheimer even delivered a letter to the Secretary of War, Henry Stimson proposing the ban of nuclear weapons in any war!

The C. I. A had Oppenheimer under surveillance

During the time when Oppenheimer was working on the nuclear project, the Second World War was in its peak form!

Thus, countries were grouped into two formations, Allied powers and Axis powers.

America was in the Allied camp and believed the Axis countries; systems of government were belligerent!

Even the security organs were quite alert against domestic infiltration by fascists and communists. 

As Oppenheimer was a communist sympathizer, the FBI added his name to its Custodial Detention List for arrest in situations like a declaration of national emergency!

However, during interrogations, Oppenheimer denied any connections to communists!

J. R. Oppenheimer could comprehend the language of gods

J. R. Oppenheimer Understood Language Of Gods

An interesting secret about Oppenheimer is that he spent some time learning Sanskrit, the sacred language of Hinduism!

Sanskrit is a refined language and even one of the oldest human languages!

In the Hindu religion, it is believed to be the language of communication for their celestial beings!

A well-known Indologist, Arthur Ryder, encouraged Oppenheimer to study Hinduism!

Later, he even admitted that the Bhagavad Gita informed and influenced his philosophy!

For several months, Oppenheimer lived on the island of Saint John

Starting in 1954, Oppenheimer lived for a few months on the island of Saint John in the U.S. Virgin Islands!

Later in 1957, he even purchased a 2-acre tract of land on Gibney Beach!

There he even built a spartan hone on the beach!

He spent a lot of time sailing⛵ with his wife Kitty and daughter Toni!

Oppenheimer inspired Hollywood

Oppenheimer Inspired Hollywood

Have you heard this amazing fact about Oppenheimer?

The Second World War ended after the use of the atomic bomb! It even sparked a global race to get hold on nuclear weapons!

The most important face of the famous Manhattan Project was the Los Alamos scientist Robert Oppenheimer!

This out-of-the-world project fascinated Hollywood and has become the subject of several movies 🎬.

Oppenheimer played a leading role in famous movies, such as The Beginning of the End (1947), and Fat Man and Little Boy (1989).

However, the BBC TV series Oppenheimer (1980) was very successful critically!

 It scooped three BAFTA awards!

The formation of the World Academy of Art and Science

I know, like me, you will be quite amazed to learn this fact!

Oppenheimer was increasingly worried about the potential danger of scientific inventions, and their impacts on humanity!

So, he joined with other world-famous personalities like Albert Einstein, Joseph Rotblat, Bertrand Russell and some other notable scientists to establish something special!

Eventually, in 1960, it became the World Academy of Art and Science!

Oppenheimer and his honors: Know about his awards and honors

J. Robert Oppenheimer's Honors

In September 1957, France made Oppenheimer an Officer of the Legion of Honor!

Later, on May 3, 1962, he was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society in Britain!

Also, 1963, as a gesture of political rehabilitation, President J. F. Kennedy awarded 🥇him the Enrico Fermi Award!

Death of Oppenheimer: This genius physicist died of cancer

For years, Oppenheimer worked on various radioactive materials!

Later in life, he was diagnosed with throat cancer, as he was a heavy cigarette smoker! 

This world-famous scientist underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation! However, none of that could work! 

Later, Oppenheimer died⚰️ and was cremated in the year 1967!

More than 600 notable persons were present in his requiem!

We can say that he was a leader of his time with a presence that is larger than life!

Throughout his life, he tried really hard to understand both the divine and the physical realm!

Summing up

So, little fact lovers, how are you feeling after learning so many interesting facts about this famous scientist, Julius Robert Oppenheimer😲?

Actually, we can continue more about Oppenheimer but too much at a time may not be good for appetite!

So…see you soon with another topic! 😊!!

J. Robert Oppenheimer Facts
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