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Best Julius Robert Oppenheimer Quotes

Julius Robert Oppenheimer Quotes About Science, Love, Learning, People, Atomic Bomb! Nuclear scientist and director of the Los Alamos Laboratory, J. Robert Oppenheimer, was also regarded as “the father of the atomic bomb.” An affluent Jew was born in New York City on April 22, 1904. At seventeen, Oppenheimer was one of Harvard University’s most brilliant pupils. Ernest Rutherford, the great British scientist, and physicist, was one of his professors at Cambridge University in England, where he pursued further studies.

Julius Robert Oppenheimer Quotes

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However, his work on quantum theory and theoretical physics was also read widely in the classical and Eastern philosophical canons. Niels Bohr and other European scientists reported the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute’s successful effort to split the atom in 1939 to their American counterparts. With this advanced technology, President Roosevelt was worried that the Nazis could be able to build an atomic bomb.

Oppenheimer was named the project’s scientific leader. He recommended that the project be located in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Nuclear bombs were first dropped on Alamogordo Air Force Base in southern New Mexico on July 16, 1945. It took years of hard effort and sacrifice to make this first weapon. He served as director of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey, from 1966 to 1966.

For the remainder of his life, he overcame politics and served as director of Princeton’s Institute of Advanced Study. He received the Enrico Fermi Award in 1963 for his “contributions to theoretical physics as a teacher and inventor of concepts, and administration of the Los Alamos Laboratory and the atomic energy program during crucial years.” On February 18, 1967, he passed away from throat cancer at the University of Princeton.

Best Julius Robert Oppenheimer Quotes

1. “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.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

2. “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.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

3. “If you are a scientist you believe that it is good to find out how the world works; that it is good to find out what the realities are; that it is good to turn over to mankind at large the greatest possible power to control the world and to deal with it according to its lights and values.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

4. “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.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

5. “Both the man of science and the man of action live always at the edge of mystery, surrounded by it.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

6. “The greatest of the changes that science has brought is the acuity of change; the greatest novelty the extent of novelty.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

7. “Science starts with preconception, with the common culture, and with common sense. It moves on to observation, is marked by the discovery of paradox, and is then concerned with the correction of preconception. It moves then to use these corrections for the designing of further observation and for more refined experiments. And as it moves along this course the nature of the evidence and experience that nourish it becomes more and more unfamiliar; it is not just the language that is strange [to common culture].” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

8. “There are no secrets about the world of nature. There are secrets about the thoughts and intentions of men.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

9. “I need physics more than friends.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

10. “The great testimony of history shows how often, in fact, the development of science has emerged in response to technological and even economic needs, and how in the economy of social effort, science, even of the most abstract and recondite kind, pays for itself again and again in providing the basis for radically new technological developments.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

11. “It is proper to the role of the scientists that he does not merely find new truth and communicate it to this fellows, but that he teaches, that he tries to bring the most honest and intelligible account of new knowledge to all who will try to learn.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

12. “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.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

13. “Discovery follows discovery, each both raising and answering questions, each ending a long search, and each providing the new instruments for a new search.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

14. “There is something irreversible about acquiring knowledge; and the simulation of the search for it differs in a most profound way from the reality.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

15. “Both the man of science and the man of art live always at the edge of mystery, surrounded by it; both always, as to the measure of their creation, have had to do with the harmonization of what is new with what is familiar, with the balance between novelty and synthesis, with the struggle to make partial order in total chaos.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

16. “Knowledge cannot be pursued without morality.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

17. “We know too much for one man to know too much.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

18. “Today, it is not only that our kings do not know mathematics, but our philosophers do not know mathematics and—to go a step further—our mathematicians do not know mathematics.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

19. “The true scientist never loses the faculty of amusement. It is the essence of his being.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

20. “Science is not everything, but science is very beautiful.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

21. “Maybe General Groves was right. Maybe we should just banish thinking forever.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

22. “No man should escape our universities without knowing how little he knows.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

23. “In a free world, if it is to remain free, we must maintain, with our lives if need be, but surely by our lives, the opportunity for a man to learn anything.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

24. “We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to enquire. We know that the wages of secrecy are corruption. We know that in secrecy error, undetected, will flourish and subvert.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

25. “To try to be happy is to try to build a machine with no other specification than that it shall run noiselessly.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

26. “The open society, the unrestricted access to knowledge, the unplanned and uninhibited association of men for its furtherance—these are what may make a vast, complex, ever-growing, ever-changing, ever more specialized and expert technological world, nevertheless a world of human community.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

27. “If we must live with a perpetual sense that the world and the men in it are greater than we and too much for us.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

28. “You can certainly destroy enough of humanity so that only the greatest act of faith can persuade you that what’s left will be human.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

29. “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.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

30. “I’ve become death, the destroyer of worlds.” – Julius Robert Oppenheimer

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