Quotes by: J. Robert Oppenheimer
|J. Robert Oppenheimer
J. Robert Oppenheimer, c. 1944
April 22, 1904|
New York City, New York
||February 18, 1967
Princeton, New Jersey
||University of California, Berkeley
California Institute of Technology
Los Alamos Laboratory
Institute for Advanced Study
Christ's College, Cambridge
University of Göttingen
||Zur Quantentheorie kontinuierlicher Spektren (1927)
||Samuel W. Alderson
Willis Eugene Lamb
||Nuclear weapons development
||Enrico Fermi Award (1963)
||Katherine "Kitty" Puening Harrison (1940–1967; his death; 2 children)
Brother of physicist Frank Oppenheimer
The history of science is rich in example of the fruitfulness of bringing two sets of techniques, two sets of ideas, developed in separate contexts for the pursuit of new truth, into touch with one another.
My childhood did not prepare me for the fact that the world is full of cruel and bitter things.
When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.
I saw what the Depression was doing to my students. Often they could get no jobs, or jobs which were wholly inadequate. And through them, I began to understand how deeply political and economic events could affect men's lives. I began to feel the need to participate more fully in the life of the community.
There are children playing in the streets who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.
In the spring of 1936, I was introduced by friends to Jean Tatlock. In the autumn, I began to court her. We were at least twice close enough to marriage to think of ourselves as engaged.
It is a profound and necessary truth that the deep things in science are not found because they are useful: they are found because it was possible to find them.
My life as a child did not prepare me for the fact that the world is full of cruel and bitter things.
Access to the Vedas is the greatest privilege this century may claim over all previous centuries.
I had had a continuing smoldering fury about the treatment of Jews in Germany.
The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears it is true.
My mother was born in Baltimore, and before her marriage, she was an artist and teacher of art.
If atomic bombs are to be added as new weapons to the arsenals of a warring world, or to the arsenals of nations preparing for war, then the time will come when mankind will curse the names of Los Alamos and of Hiroshima.
It is a profound and necessary truth that the deep things in science are not found because they are useful; they were found because it was possible to find them.
To recruit staff, I traveled all over the country talking with people who had been working on one or another aspect of the atomic-energy enterprise and people in radar work, for example, and underwater sound, telling them about the job, the place that we are going to, and enlisting their enthusiasm.
In the material sciences these are and have been, and are most surely likely to continue to be heroic days.
In some sort of crude sense, which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose.
There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry. There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors.
The atomic bomb made the prospect of future war unendurable. It has led us up those last few steps to the mountain pass; and beyond there is a different country.