Oppenheimer: The Man Behind the Bomb

In July 1945, J. Robert Oppen­heimer, a the­o­ret­i­cal physi­cist from UC Berke­ley, saw his work on the Man­hat­tan Project cul­mi­nate with the test of the first nuclear bomb. The genie was let out of the bot­tle, and, ever since then, world lead­ers have been try­ing to put the genie back in … with great dif­fi­cul­ty. The new doc­u­men­tary Count­down to Zero, which pre­miered at Sun­dance ear­li­er this year, traces the his­to­ry of the atom­ic bomb and makes the case for world­wide nuclear dis­ar­ma­ment – a time­ly issue giv­en that the US Sen­ate has been debat­ing the New Strate­gic Arms Reduc­tion Treaty (aka New START). The “fea­turette” above, excerpt­ed from the film, gives you a quick and some­what haunt­ing intro­duc­tion to Oppen­heimer, the man behind the bomb.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon. If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

by | Permalink | Comments (2) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (2)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • Hanoch says:

    I can­not fath­om the argu­ment for “world­wide nuclear dis­ar­ma­ment”. Can any­one make the case — with a straight face — that the world would be bet­ter off if the US were not the over­whelm­ing super­pow­er on the Earth? The fact is, when sta­ble democ­ra­cies pos­sess vast­ly supe­ri­or weapon­ry, the world is made safer from the thugs who would oth­er­wise seek to wreak more death and destruc­tion than they already do. Let’s remem­ber that Hitler’s rise occurred when “dis­ar­ma­ment” was the theme through­out the rest of Europe. It is also the case that the atom bombs dropped on Japan end­ed the war, sav­ing count­less lives that inevitably would have been lost in an inva­sion of Japan. Why is it that, giv­en the many mass mur­der­ers who have blight­ed this plan­et through­out his­to­ry, some peo­ple still have dif­fi­cul­ty under­stand­ing that there are, and will be, tru­ly evil peo­ple in the world, and that weak­ness only invites their aggres­sion and bru­tal­i­ty?

  • Kurt says:

    Fan­tas­tic biog­ra­phy of Oppen­heimer — Amer­i­can Prometheus: The Tri­umph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppen­heimer — check out the web­site: http://www.americanprometheus.org/Home.htm

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.