J. Robert Oppenheimer

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J. Robert Oppenheimer

Born: April 22, 1904, New York City, New YorkDied: February 18, 1967, Princeton, New JerseyParents: Julius S. Oppenheimer- German textile merchant Ella Friedman-ArtistMarried To: Katherine Peuning HarrisonChildren: Peter and Katherine Oppenheimer Education: Hardvard, USA Cambridge, England Göttigen University, Germany

1904: Born into a wealthy, New York, Jewish family1922-25: Enrolls and Graduates from Harvard with Top Honors1925: Sails for England to work in the Cavendish laboratory at Cambridge1926-27: Studies at Cambridge and University of Gottingen and gets Ph.D. in physics from University of Gottingen1929-1947: Professor at University of California at Berkeley and Cal. Tech1942-45: Director of the Manhattan Project, Los Alamos 1947-1952: Becomes Chairman, General Advisory Committee, Atomic Energy Commission1954: Fired from General Advisory Committee, AEC1963: Receives Enrico Fermi Award1967: Died Of Throat Cancer



J. RobertOppenheimer

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Important Facts and Contributions

Catherine Klempa Period 1

Scientific director of the ‘Manhattan Project’ which was a research and development project that produced the first nuclear weapons during World War II.Studied under Nobel laureate and physicist J. J. Thompson while enrolled at Christ's College, Cambridge.Studied under the brilliant physicist and mathematician Max Born while enrolled at Göttigen University.At the University of Gottingen, he published a thesis paper on the ‘Born-Oppenheimer Approximation’, which became a notable paper in the study of quantum chemistry and expounds the wavefunction of molecules.His paper on the ‘Oppenheimer-Philips process’ opened a new dimension in nuclear fusion, which is still valid in the world of science today.Made notable contributions to nuclear physics, spectroscopy, astrophysics, and quantum field theory. He was the first physicist to point out the existence of black holes.He had made notable contributions to the theory of cosmic ray showers that led to the description of quantum tunneling.


He was awarded the ‘Medal of Merit’ for his services as the director of Los Alamos.In recognition to his services during political crisis, he was awarded the Enrico Fermi Award.

1926: Worked with Max Born, and came up with the ‘Born-Oppenheimer Approximation’1935:Worked with Melba Philips, and came up with the ‘Oppenheimer-Phillips Process.'1939: Produced the paper, ‘On Continued Gravitational Attraction’, which predicted the existence of black holes.1946: Receives Presidential Medal of Merit.1963: Receives Enrico Fermi Award.

Marie Curie:Discovered two new radioactive chemical elements.Henri Becquerel:Discovered radioactivity.Otto Hahn:Discovered nuclear fission.Lise Meitner:Contributed greatly to the discovery of nuclear fission.Enrico Fermi:Directed the first controlled chain reaction involving nuclear fission.Hans Geiger:Introduced the first successful detector of individual alpha particles.Henry Villard:Discovered gamma rays.Albert Einstein:Founded the Theory of Relativity

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