A Science In Change
This year's Reith Lecturer is American theoretical physicist Robert Oppenheimer. Professor of Physics at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, he has been described as the "father of the atomic bomb" for his role in the Manhattan Project while Director of Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory between 1943–45. In his Reith lectures entitled 'Science and the Common Understanding', he examines the impact of quantum and atomic theory on society.
In his third lecture entitled 'A Science in Change', Professor Oppenheimer explores the origin of atomic physics and the quantum theory of atomic systems. He discusses the importance of both new discoveries and old knowledge in science to explain how the theories of atomic physics have developed.