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J. Robert Oppenheimer

Theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer served as the third Director of the Institute from 1947 until 1966. Prior to his Directorship, Oppenheimer was appointed to the Manhattan Project, and he oversaw the construction of the Los Alamos laboratory, where he gathered the best minds in physics to work on the problem of creating an atomic bomb. 

Dr. Robert J. Oppenheimer
Director of Above

Dear Sir,

First, please let me apologize for my manner of speaking when we discussed quantum theory recently. This manner is unjustifiably aggressive.

I gave a copy of the preprint of my paper to Robert Oppenheimer, who, as Director of the Institute for Advanced Study, was my host. A week later I met him at an Eastern Physics Meeting at the University of Maryland, my home institution. When I asked him if he had read my paper, he replied, “Greenberg, it’s beautiful!” I was elated. After a pause, he completed his assessment of my paper by saying, “But I don’t believe a word of it!”

On January 4, 1955, Edward R. Murrow visited the Institute for Advanced Study to interview J. Robert Oppenheimer, the Institute’s third Director. 

On November 14, the Institute for Advanced Study announced the appointment of Robbert Dijkgraaf as its ninth Director, succeeding, as of July 1, 2012, Peter Goddard, who has served as Director since January 2004.

Below,...

It all began with a cable from Oppenheimer that I received on March 10, 1948, in Trondheim, Norway: ON THE RECOMMENDATION OF BOHR AND HEITLER I AM GLAD TO OFFER YOU MEMBERSHIP SCHOOL OF MATHEMATICS FOR THE ACADEMIC YEAR 1948 – 1949 WITH STIPEND OF $3500. ROBERT OPPENHEIMER.

Freeman Dyson, Professor Emeritus in the School of Natural Sciences, wrote a series of letters to his parents about Richard Feynman, published by Physics Today in 1989. Feynman visited the Institute but declined an...

On April 10, 1955, the New York Times announced the publication of a bibliographic volume published under J. Robert Oppenheimer, then Director of the Institute for Advanced Study, on the occasion of...

My friend Specker, who could not speak English too well, he told him, “Well, we liked your reading, but I think you spoke down to the audience a bit, didn’t you?” and Dylan Thomas let loose, swear words of an order that we didn’t use, that were no-nos.

The Institute for Advanced Study celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHÉS), located at Bures-sur-Yvette, France, with an event at IAS last November. Attendees included IHÉS...

This sketch of earlier attempts to bring biology to the Institute for Advanced Study is not a history. I have not dug into the archives to find official documents and exact dates. I am only recording my own fallible memories of events that I...

When Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in January 1933, Albert Einstein had already left the country. He was in the United States and in contact with the founders of his new academic home, the Institute for Advanced Study, which would open in...

More than seventy-five years ago, Founding Director Abraham Flexner sought to create with the Institute for Advanced Study a haven where “scholars and scientists may regard the world and its phenomena as their laboratory, without being carried...