Oppenheimer Centennial
April 23, 2004 8:17 AM   Subscribe

J. Robert Oppenheimer Centennial: It is telling that the first atomic test would be named in reference to a poem by John Donne ("Trinity") and the next series of tests would be labeled simply alphabetically according to military protocol ("Able," "Baker," "X-ray," "Yoke," and "Zebra"). It is indicative of the changing of hands of the bomb, moving from the responsibility of intellectual eclectics like Oppenheimer into the protocols of military rank and policy. See also the Oppenheimer Affair. Via Science NetWatch.
posted by jjray (4 comments total)
It appears that the John Donne poem in question is Holy Sonnet XIV. Despite how English teachers love it so, I've never been fond of that poem...But this definitely gives it some cachet.
posted by jbrjake at 8:54 AM on April 23, 2004

It also appears that he really was a communist.
posted by falconred at 9:05 AM on April 23, 2004

May I reccomend Brighter Than A Thousand Suns ? It is a fantastic read that really gets into the stickiness of the Oppenheimer/Communism stuff.
posted by shotsy at 9:55 AM on April 23, 2004

What I wanna know is, when is there gonna be a DVD release of that Oppenheimer mini-series PBS aired about a million years back? Sam Waterston as Oppie!

Jim Ottaviani's Fallout covers the Oppenheimer story in graphic novel format, in fact all of his comics on the history of science are good reads.
posted by Lazlo at 1:29 PM on April 23, 2004

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