Talk:Robert Oppenheimer

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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Robert Oppenheimer page.

Isnt "I am become" gramatically incorrect? So should either be revised or [sic]'d.

This was the poetic form used in the 1944 translation of the Bhagavad Gita by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, which is the one Oppenheimer was probably most familiar with. ~ Zeal 17:01, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

I have corrected minor errors in his famous quote from the Bhagavad Gita. While the scripture may refer to Krishna and Arjun, Oppenheimer said 'Vishnu' and 'the Prince'. I have corrected this in accordance with this source:

According to his Wikipedia page, Oppenheimer read the Bhagavad Gita in its original Sanskrit, not a translation.—This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

He may have done so, but he is quoted as quoting from the Prabhavananda - Isherwood translation, and I believe he did so in a video interview. ~ Kalki·· 20:34, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
The 1954 edition of the Prabhavananda-Isherwood translation is available online at (I couldn't find a copy of the 1944 first edition) and the reading on Page 94 is "I am come as Time, the waster of the peoples", so it seems likely that Oppenheimer is not quoting their translation.


  • If we ask, for instance, whether the position of the electron remains the same, we must say 'no'; if we ask whether the electron's position changes with time, we must say 'no'; if we ask whether the electron is at rest, we must say 'no'; if we ask whether it is in motion, we must say 'no'. The Buddha has given such answers when interrogated as to the conditions of a man's self after his death; but they are not familiar answers for the tradition of seventeenth and eighteenth century science. --> the source for this quote is written here: . I have downloaded the article and checked myself. it is written in page 40 of the article
  • The general notions about human understanding… which are illustrated by discoveries in atomic physics are not in the nature of things wholly unfamiliar, wholly unheard of or new. Even in our own culture they have a history, and in Buddhist and Hindu thought a more considerable and central place. What we shall find [in modern physics] is an exemplification, an encouragement, and a refinement of old wisdom.
  • The juxtaposition of Western civilization's most terrifying scientific achievement with the most dazzling description of the mystical experience given to us by the Bhagavad Gita, India's greatest literary monument.
  • Truth, not a pet, is man's best friend.
  • Genius sees the answer before the question.
    • The fictional (and hallucinatory) character "William Parcher" in A Beautiful Mind quotes Oppenheimer as saying this.
  • No man should escape our universities without knowing how little he knows. ~J. Robert Oppenheimer

article name[edit]

Shouldn't the name of this page match the name of the article in Wikipedia? (J. Robert Oppenheimer) 17:22, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

unreliable quote[edit]

Well — yes. In modern times, of course.
Answer to a student at Rochester University who asked whether the bomb exploded at Alamogordo was the first one to be detonated, as quoted in Doomsday, 1999 A.D. (1982) by Charles Berlitz, p. 129

Charles Berlitz wrote crazy books about Atlantis and the Bermuda triangle. In this particular book, about how the world was going to end in 1999 (great thesis, that), he claims Oppenheimer said this and doesn't give any citation, even a date. He's the only original source that has ever claimed Oppenheimer said this (there are plenty psuedohistorical websites and books that repeat it, all after Berlitz). It's complete nonsense on every level, repeated only by some of the silliest sites on the Internet (those which believe that aliens gave people nuclear technology in the ancient past). Does it really deserve inclusion here? -- 19:13, 15 December 2013 (UTC)