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2004 marked the centennial of the birth of J Robert Oppenheimer, and brought historians and scholars, former students, nuclear physicists, and politicians together to celebrate this event. Oppenheimer's life and work became central to 20th century history as he spearheaded the development of the atomic bomb that ended World War II. This book provides a spectrum of interpretations of Oppenheimer's life and scientific achievements. It approaches the extraordinary scientist and teacher from many perspectives, chronicling the years from his boyhood through his role as director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and afterwards. The book also discusses Oppenheimer's connection to New Mexico, which hosted two of the Manhattan Project's most crucial sites, and addresses his lasting impact on contemporary science, international politics, and the postwar age.

  • Introduction:
    • Defying the Odds (C C Kelly)
  • Introducing Oppenheimer:
    • Oppenheimer Reconsidered (J Bingaman)
    • Robert Oppenheimer: King of the Hill (R Rhodes)
    • A Novel Idea of Oppenheimer (J Kanon)
  • Life at Los Alamos:
    • Preservation on the Pajarito Plateau (S Ashman)
    • J Robert Oppenheimer and the State of New Mexico: A Reciprocal Relationship (F Szasz)
    • Robert Oppenheimer: A Window on His Life at Los Alamos (K Bird & M Sherwin)
  • Oppenheimer's Place in History:
    • Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (E Beckner)
    • The Cautionary Tale of Robert Oppenheimer (G Herken)
    • The Early Years of Robert Oppenheimer (J Hunner)
    • General Groves' Indispensable Scientist (R S Norris)
  • Personal Reflections on Oppenheimer:
    • Oppenheimer as a Teacher of Physics and PhD Advisor (E Gerjuoy)
    • Remembering Opje: Teacher, Scientist and Friend (D Pines)
    • J Robert Oppenheimer: Consummate Physicist (M M Shapiro)
    • A Few Words from an Oppenheimer (A R Oppenheimer)

Readership: Historians, scientists, general readers of contemporary history.

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