Oppenheimer is the story of American scientist J Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb.
In 1926, 22-year-old J. Robert Oppenheimer grapples with homesickness and anxiety while studying at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, under the demanding Patrick Blackett. Oppenheimer leaves Blackett a poisoned apple that visiting scientist Niels Bohr almost eats before Oppenheimer stops him. After completing his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Göttingen in Germany, where he briefly works with Werner Heisenberg, he returns to the United States, driven by the absence of research on quantum physics in his home country. He starts teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, while also dedicating time to the California Institute of Technology. Along the way, he encounters figures such as Ernest Lawrence, the 1939 Nobel Prize winner who emphasises practical applications; Jean Tatlock, a member of the Communist Party USA with whom he has an intermittent romantic relationship until her eventual suicide; and his future wife Katherine Puening, a biologist and ex-Communist.
While in the US, Army General Leslie Groves recruits Oppenheimer to lead the Manhattan Project to develop an atomic bomb.