Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Science and Chess - Einstein vrs Oppenheimer (Princeton, 1933)

Albert Einstein & J. Robert Oppenheimer:

Albert Einstein had an interest in chess and was also very mindful of the hold it could have on a chess players' life (quote). Einstein was a personal friend of the World Chess Champion Emanuel Lasker, though I am not aware of any recorded games between these two great men. There is, however, a recorded game between Albert Einstein and the theoretical physicist Julius Robert Oppenheimer, "the father of the atomic bomb" (he was scientific director of the Manhattan Project, Los Alamos, New Mexico, during World War II). Professor Oppenheimer in 1946 became director of the Institute for Advanced Study Princeton, New Jersey (eventually taking over Einstein's old job), where he stayed until a year before his death (source).

Einstein – Oppenheimer [Princeton, New Jersey (1933)]
Opening: Ruy Lopez, Morphy Defense. Caro Variation (C70)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 b5 5.Bb3 Nf6 6.0-0 Nxe4 7.Re1 d5 8.a4 b4 9.d3 Nc5 10.Nxe5 Ne7 11.Qf3 f6 12.Qh5+ g6 13.Nxg6 hxg6 14.Qxh8 Nxb3 15.cxb3 Qd6 16.Bh6 Kd7 17.Bxf8 Bb7 18.Qg7 Re8 19.Nd2 c5 20.Rad1 a5 21.Nc4 dxc4 22.dxc4 Qxd1 23.Rxd1+ Kc8 24.Bxe7 1-0.

Here is a moving video of the first atomic bomb explosion (in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16th, 1945) and Oppenheimer's famous quote repeated for a television broadcast (1965):
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.

A sympathetic biography of Oppenheimer, published in AmericanHeritage.com - “I AM BECOME DEATH…” The Agony of J. Robert Oppenheimer, is well worth a read.

Tags: 1945 - Albert Einstein - Atomic Bomb - Bhagavad-Gita - Chess - Institute For Advanced Study - J. Robert Oppenheimer - Los Alamos - Manhattan Project - New Jersey - Princeton University
Posted by ALCHEssMIST - Alchemipedia alliance.


Brian said...

Nice posting. Do you know about this edition of the Gita?


ALCHEssMIST said...

Thanks for the comment and the link Brian.