Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center
I finished reading a great biography of Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb. Oppenheimer was the director of the Los Alamos laboratory that designed the first atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending the second world war.
The book contains a large number of amazing tidbits, especially because Oppenheimer’s personality is so interesting. It goes through his disturbingly weird behaviour as a college student, his success as the director of Los Alamos and his embarrassing loss of security clearance when the US Government suspected him of being a communist spy.
I’ve been sharing a few of the most interesting highlights on Twitter, but I thought I’ll share a few of them here too.
Early in his career, Oppenheimer tried to poison his Ph.D. advisor out of jealousy.
He also tried to strangle his best friend out of jealousy, and had done multiple things that should put anyone in prison for a long time.
For some people, he was not very fun to work.
There was debate about whether any publication of nuclear chain reactions should be stopped for safety.
Information about the atomic bomb was declassified was that a trucker reverse engineered the bomb in 2004.
The book has a lot more interesting stuff, these examples only scratch the surface. If you read it, let me know what you think!