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J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic Age

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0337
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Oppenheimer in 1942 with Leslie Groves, military head of the Manhattan Project

More people than ever know about J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the most famous names of the 1940s and ‘50s, after the recent highly successful film bearing his name. But there was much more to the man and that era in American life than the film depicted.

Historian and biographer Allen Pietrobon jumps back to the dawn of the Atomic Age to explore the Manhattan Project and the personalities behind it. He explores the realities of wartime life in the United States and the state of science in the first half of the 20th century. Then he goes deeply into the life and times of Oppenheimer and the world-changing weapon he helped build.

Weaving fascinating stories of what it was like to work at Los Alamos and the challenges the scientists encountered as they raced to get a bomb before Hitler’s Germany did (or so they thought), Pietrobon explores what made Oppenheimer famous. But not all Americans or even everyone who worked with him celebrated him or the devastating weapon he and his colleagues created. Pietrobon also discusses critics of the Manhattan Project and its dark side.

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