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.

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!”