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KF5JRV > TODAY    18.02.19 13:30l 41 Lines 2073 Bytes #6 (0) @ WW
BID : 31423_KF5JRV
Subj: Today in History - Feb 18
Sent: 190218/1221Z 31423@KF5JRV.#NWAR.AR.USA.NA BPQ6.0.18

On February 18, 1967, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the “father of the atomic
bomb,ö dies in Princeton, New Jersey, at the age of 62.

An expert in quantum theory and nuclear physics, he was enlisted into
the fledgling U.S. atomic weapons program in 1941. In 1942, the
“Manhattan Project,ö as the program became known, was greatly expanded,
and Oppenheimer was asked to establish and direct a secret laboratory to
carry out the assignment. He chose Los Alamos, a site in the New Mexico
desert that he had visited earlier in life, and together with some of
the world’s top physicists began work on the bomb. On July 16, 1945, the
world’s first atomic bomb was exploded at the “Trinityö test site in
Alamogordo, New Mexico, and only three weeks later the United States
dropped the first of two bombs on Japan. Over 200,000 Japanese
eventually perished as a result of the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and

Oppenheimer regretted the use of the terrible weapon he had helped
build, and he worked with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to win
approval for international control of atomic energy. The USSR refused to
support the U.S. plan, and in 1949 the Soviets successfully detonated
their first atomic weapon. The loss of U.S. atomic supremacy, coupled
with revelations that Los Alamos scientist Klaus Fuchs had given nuclear
secrets to the Soviets, led President Harry S. Truman to approve
development of the hydrogen bomb. Oppenheimer strongly opposed
development of the H-bomb, which was theorized to be hundreds of times
more powerful than the bombs dropped on Japan. On November 1, 1952, the
first “superbombö was successfully detonated in the Pacific.

In 1953, because of both his opposition to the hydrogen bomb and his
admitted leftist leanings in the 1930s, Oppenheimer lost his security
clearance and was ousted from the AEC. The case stirred wide
controversy, and many people came to his defense. After leaving the
government, he returned to teaching. He died in 1967.

73 de Scott KF5JRV


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