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Published on Jan 16, 2009
The opera Doctor Atomic revolves about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the pioneer in quantum mechanics and the key scientist behind the first atom bomb. Brilliant, driven and controversial, he lost his security clearance during the McCarthy hysteria of the early 1950s. At a 2008 symposium at CUNY, Historians Robert Crease and David Cassidy join physicist Jeremy Bernstein, a former student of Oppenheimer, to consider him as a scientist and as a man. NYU Professor Emeritus Benjamin Bederson moderates.