J. Robert Oppenheimer

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We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and, to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

I suppose we all thought that, one way or another…

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We waited until the blast had passed, walked out of the shelter and then it was extremely solemn… If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky that would be like the splendor of the mighty one. The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds and the pessimist knows it. We were lying there, very tense, in the early dawn, and there were just a few streaks of gold in the east; you could see your neighbor very dimly. Those ten seconds were the longest ten seconds that i ever experienced. Suddenly, there was an enormous flash of light, the brightest light i have ever seen or that i think anyone has ever seen. Tt blasted; It pounced; It bored its way right through you. It was a vision which was seen with more than the eye. it was seen to last forever. You would wish it to stop; altogether it lasted about two seconds.

Finally it was over, diminishing, and we looked toward the place where the bomb had been; there was an enormous ball of fire which grew and grew and it rolled as it grew; it went up into the air, in yellow flashes and into scarlet and green. It looked menacing. It seemed to come toward one.

A new thing had just been born.

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– OTHER CONCEPTS –


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