Cyanide poisoning! Did Oppenheimer really try to kill his professor as shown in movie ? the scientist's grandson says…
Viewers are left shocked when Oppenheimer is depicted as trying to kill his professor by poisoning an apple on his desk with potassium cyanide.
In the recently released movie "Oppenheimer" based on the life of scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, there comes a dreadful scene involving actor Cillian Murphy who has essayed the role of the theoretical physicist. Viewers are left shocked at the scene where Oppenheimer is depicted as trying to kill his professor by poisoning an apple on his desk with potassium cyanide. The absolutely shocking scene has left people wondering if it truly happened.
Well, Oppenheimer's grandson has spoken on the genuineness of the scene as shown in the movie. In an interaction with Time magazine, Charles Oppenheimer talked about his grandfather and also reflected on the Christopher Nolan's movie on the physicist.
"[It] was a problem in American Prometheus. If you read American Prometheus carefully enough, the authors say, 'We don't really know if it happened,'" Charles told the outlet, referencing the 2006 biography "American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer" on which the movie is based.
"There's no record of him trying to kill somebody. That's a really serious accusation and it's historical revision. There's not a single enemy or friend of Robert Oppenheimer who heard that during his life and considered it to be true," highlighted Charles.
"Unfortunately, American Prometheus summarizes that as Robert Oppenheimer tried to kill his teacher and then they [acknowledge that] maybe there's this doubt," he added.
What's the account of the incident in the book?
A report published by People magazine references a free preview of the book "American Prometheus" as per which the dreadful incident occurred in 1925 while Oppenheimer was a student at the University of Cambridge in London. The book records the incident which is talked about by Oppenheimer's friend Francis Fergusson.
“He had kind of poisoned the head steward. It seemed incredible, but that was what he said. And he had actually used cyanide or something somewhere. And fortunately the tutor discovered it. Of course there was hell to pay with Cambridge,” the book quotes Fergusson as saying.
“He told me about it at the time, or shortly thereafter, in Paris. I always assumed that it was probably true. But I don’t know. He was doing all sorts of crazy things then,” Fergusson said in the book.
The book notes that there have been different accounts of the incident which raise questions and doubts over its veracity.