J[ulius] Robert Oppenheimer
Physicist James Franck was professor of Göttingen University when
the twenty-three-year-old Oppenheimer was being examined for
his doctorate. On emerging from the oral examination, Franck remarked,
"I got out of there just in time. He was beginning to ask me questions."
U.S. physicist, director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey, from 1947 to 1966. He was in charge of the development of the atomic bomb (the Manhattan Project) at the end of World War II, and from 1945 to 1952 held a key position in U.S. atomic policy. His misgivings about the hydrogen bomb caused him to fall foul of a McCarthyite witch-hunt (1953), and he was labeled a security risk. Thereafter he devoted himself mainly to considering the ethics of science in society. In 1963, Oppenheimer received the prestigious Enrico Fermi Award, the highest prize awarded by the Atomic Energy Commission, conferred by President Johnson.
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