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Frank Oppenheimer


Frank Friedman Oppenheimer (August 14, 1912 – February 3, 1985) was an American particle physicist, professor of physics at the University of Colorado, and the founder of the Exploratorium in San Francisco. A younger brother of renowned physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, Frank Oppenheimer conducted research on aspects of nuclear physics during the time of the Manhattan Project, and made contributions to uranium enrichment. After the war, Oppenheimer's earlier involvement with the American Communist Party placed him under scrutiny, and he resigned from his physics position at the University of Minnesota.

Oppenheimer was a target of McCarthyism and was blacklisted from finding any physics teaching position in the United States until 1957, when he was allowed to teach science at a high school in Colorado. This rehabilitation allowed him to gain a position at the University of Colorado teaching physics. In 1969, Oppenheimer founded the Exploratorium in San Francisco, and he served as its first director. He lived in Sausalito, California, until his death in 1985.


1.) K. C. Cole (2012). Something Incredibly Wonderful Happens: Frank Oppenheimer and His Astonishing Exploratorium. University of Chicago Press. pp. 104–105. ISBN 9780226113470. "For the locals, it was as if aliens had landed. "The normal folks were wearing tight jeans and cowboy hats, and here was a rancher who didn't wear a hat," said Pete Richards, who lived on one of the neighboring ranches at the time. “He was skinnier than a rail, he was really hyper. Both he and Jackie swore like sailors. And they were atheists!”."

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