Abhay Ashtekar, US-based theoretical physicist, speaks with Mayank Chhaya, on Oppenheimer, atomic bomb and the Bhagavad Gita | SAM Conversation

Aug 05, 2022

Description: August 6 and 9 mark the 77th anniversary  of America dropping dropping two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. At the heart of the endeavor to produce atomic weapons as part of the Manhattan Project was J. Robert Oppenheimer, a much-respected theoretical physicist. Oppenheimer was a student of the Bhagavad Gita, having learned Sanskrit in 1933. So taken he was with it that he kept a thumbed copy of the Gita with him. Years after the nuclear detonations, Oppenheimer memorably quoted a verse from the Gita that went, "Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds", as told by Krishna to warrior Arjuna.
In this SAM Conversation with Mayank Chhaya Reports, Einstein Prize-winning theoretical physicist Abhay Ashtekar offers a detailed perspective on Oppenheimer, atomic bomb and his relationship with the Gita.