Son and I went to see Oppenheimer last night at a movie theater. It is three hours ong and the time went by fast. The movie is about J. Robert Oppenheimer, a theoretical physicist who was over the Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico where the atomic bomb was developed. The movie is not just about the bomb but concerns what happened afterwar World War II was over and the country was trying to decide where to go next. Whether to build more bombs and whether to proceed with the hydrogen bomb and whether to share the secrets of the bomb with Russia.
Oppenheimer had his opinions and they were not popular with the powers that be at the time and so they maneuvered to strip him of his security clearand and this his credibility. They did so in a nasty underhanded manner. But hey I am not going to give it away except to say this is a great movie. See if if you like great movies, and doubly so if you like history, and further if you love science as I do.
Many of the great people of science had a role in the making of the bomb and many of them are portrayed in the movie. Such as Albert Einstein, Edward Teller, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Richard Feynman, Earnest Lawrence, Hans Bethe, Kurt Godel, Enrico Fermi, and more. I had always known that Oppenheimer got screwed but I didn’t know the story until now. Of course its a movie so I have to do a little reading to double check the my understanding of the events.
I give the movie, five stars out of five. Keep the kids at home. Take them to go see Barbie instead. That’s the next movie I want to go see. I might even buy a pink shirt. Does that make me woke? Second thought, I’m told the movie is a little dark for little kids so you are on your own.
Check the Oppenheimer movie web site. Lots of good stuff there. My mother played a small role in the project. She was a secretary briefly at the Hanford Site in Washington state. I think she specialized in partying. She used to talk about slipping out of the dorms at night, squeezing through a gap in the security fence and catching a ride to town and then coming back very late. Fun times!
Also check out the Department of Energy’s online information about Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project. Lots of good stuff there.