The Eureka Moment

When it all comes together, everything seems so right, so golden. But, after the initial shock that you’ve succeeded in doing something right, the self doubt sets in. We’ve been here so many times before, on the cusp of making the discovery that will yield the much needed results.

But this, this is the latest wonder, and the breakthrough I was looking for. My only regret is that it’s had to be so secret. But that’s the nature of some of our work – though I know from some of my lab partners, and certainly the newer graduates (their beady eyes demanding some of the glory) that they all wish they could have been part of the project, involved in the discovery.

You get to thinking about the more dangerous aspects of our work – industrial espionage, the importance of data security, the fear that whispering one word of your work will not only throw all your research into the hands of your rivals but render you unemployed.

The flipside of this particular success are my concerns about the change that can be affected by this particular research.

How much did Oppenheimer weigh up his decision to develop the atomic bomb, to make the next step in technological evolution? Did it weigh on him at all?

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