SLAC Colloquium Series

SLAC Colloquium Series


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Day After Trinity: Oppenheimer and the Atomic Bomb

Date: 10/31/2005


Historic Film Screening at SLAC - Note Special Time 4:00 pm

On October 31st at 4:00 pm in Panofsky Auditorium SLAC's Colloquium Series will present the exceptional Oscar-nominated documentary The Day After Trinity. The film offers invaluable insight into historic events which have forever changed the face of our world - this screening should not to be missed.

After witnessing the tremendous destructive power of the atomic bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer declared "I have become death". Still topically relevant a quarter of a century since its release, Director Jon Else's documentary uses interviews, archival footage, and narration to reveal the internal landscape of the man whose leadership at Los Alamos, New Mexico, defined the rise of the Manhattan Project and the beginning of the Atomic Age.

The Day After Trinity traces the unexpected path of Oppenheimer's career - from his formation of the Los Alamos colony and the first successful atomic bomb detonation at the Trinity test site in 1945, to his final years spent branded as a security risk and excluded from the atomic energy research he pioneered due to his opposition to the development of the Hydrogen bomb.

The full movie is about 90 minutes long. Since not everybody may want to stay for the entire duration, we have decided to break the program into two parts and start the program at 4:00 PM rather than the usual 4:15 PM time.

The first part will start at 4:00 PM and end roughly at 5:15 PM. In the movie, this time coincides with the end of the war with Japan in 1945.

At this point, Pief Panofsky who was present at the Trinity Test in July of 1945 will make a few remarks about the past and the future of nuclear weapons, and answer questions, if desired.

After Pief leaves, those people interested in seeing the rest of the movie will have the opportunity to do so. The last 20 minutes deal with what happened after the war, the decision by Edward Teller to proceed with the H-bomb, the McCarthy days, Oppenheimer's loss of his security clearance, and his deep final qualms and regrets.

Last update: October 03, 2013