While Robert's name has become synonymous with the atomic bomb there is more to the story than that. J. Robert Oppenheimer was born in New York City on April 22, 1904. After graduating from Harvard and studying under Ernest Rutherford at Cambridge University, Oppenheimer received his Ph.D. in Germany in 1925. In 1929, he returned to the United States to teach at the University of California Berkeley and at Cal Tech. Upon hearing of discovery of fission in 1939, Oppenheimer immediately grasped the
possibility of atomic bombs. In 1941, he was brought into the atomic bomb project and was
asked to calculate the critical mass of uranium-235, the amount needed to sustain a chain reaction.
The next year he assembled a group of some of the best theoretical physicists in the country to
discuss the design of the actual bomb. General Wesley Groves, the army officer in charge of the
Manhattan Project, named Oppenheimer the scientific director of the program, and together they
decided on Los Alamos, New Mexico, as the site for the nuclear weapons laboratory. Groves
said of Oppenheimer, "He's a genius. A real genius...Why, Oppenheimer knows about everything. He can talk to you about anything you bring up. Well not exactly. I guess there are a few things he doesn't know about. He doesn't know anything about sports" (necularpages).
The staff grew from 30 scientists...