|About the Book|
Abraham Pais offers a portrait of his eminent colleague, J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the most charismatic and enigmatic figures of modern physics. Pais introduces us to a precocious youth who sped through Harvard in three years, made signal contributions to quantum mechanics while in his twenties, and was instrumental in the growth of American physics in the decade before the Second World War, almost single-handedly putting American physics on the map. Pais then paints a revealing portrait of Oppenheimers life in Los Alamos, where in twenty remarkable, feverish months, under his inspired leadership, the first atomic bomb was designed and built, a success that made Oppenheimer Americas most famous scientist. Pais, who was his next-door neighbor for many years, describes Oppenheimers long tenure as Director of the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton, but also shows how Oppenheimers intensity and arrogance won him powerful enemies, who would ultimately make him one of the principal victims of the Red Scare of the 1950s. J. Robert Oppenheimer is the most comprehensive biography of the great physicist available. It is Abraham Paiss final work, completed after his death by Robert P. Crease, an acclaimed historian of science in his own right.