Oppenheimer, J. Robert

[ (op-uhn-heye-muhr) ]

An American physicist of the twentieth century. Oppenheimer led the research and development of the atomic bomb (see also atomic bomb) and was head of the Manhattan Project.

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notes for Oppenheimer, J. Robert

In the early 1950s, Oppenheimer's opposition to building the hydrogen bomb and his past association with leftists led to a hearing regarding his security clearance. Although the committee found that he was a “loyal citizen,” his security clearance was not restored, and he was barred from government research. Oppenheimer's chief opponent in the scientific community at this time was Edward Teller.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.