Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Let's Be Frank 

Wednesday, Aug 8 2012
Comments
For the last 100 days, the Exploratorium has posted pictures and quotes by particle physicist Frank Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer wasn’t routinely pithy, but his curiosity, wonder, and brilliance shine through, as does his compassion for the human experience. In K.C. Cole’s biography, Oppenheimer is described as “Tom Sawyer in a business suit.” And visiting the Exploratorium, NOVA pointed out, is like being inside his brain. As we approach Frank Oppenheimer’s 100th Birthday Anniversary, we might recall that Oppenheimer once followed his more famous older brother J. Robert into the Manhattan Project where they developed the A-bomb. Both were blacklisted, perhaps as much for outspoken dismay as for their membership in the Communist Party but, unlike J. Robert, whose spirit was crushed along with his career, Frank came into his own during the Red Scare. He taught high school while in exile on a Colorado ranch. He was a very good teacher. By the time he got a university post, he had developed a “library of experiments” that encouraged students to physically follow the threads of their own curiosity. Today, you can recreate some of those threads -- the giant bubble tray may be a biproduct of Oppenheimer’s Guggenheim Fellowship for bubble-chamber dynamics -- watch his favorite movies, and see footage of the man during the birth of the “museum of human awareness.”
Sat., Aug. 18, 10 a.m., 2012

About The Author

Silke Tudor

Related Locations

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Slideshows

  • Trixxie Carr Presents: Maneater at Oasis
    January 14, 2015 was the first night of Trixxie Carr Presents: Maneater at Oasis in San Francisco. Photos by Calibree Photography.
  • No Pants BART Ride 2015 - NSFW
    The No Pants BART Ride commenced on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. Participants rode without pants, and at the end of the ride they disembarked at The Mission to bar hop, eat burritos and take selfies. Photos by Richard Haick.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular