Julius Robert Openheimer (April 22, 1904 – February 18, 1967) was an American theoretical physicist and professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is best known for his role as the scientific director of the Manhattan Project, the World War II effort to develop the first nuclear weapons at the secret in New Mexico. For this reason he is remembered as "The Father of the Atomic Bomb". His anti-proliferation stance and his ties to Communism in his youth led to his fall-from-grace in the political arena.
J. Robert Oppenheimer meets the same fate in the short story. However, in the short, the round up of scientists is the more explicitly anti-Semitic "Professors' Plot", whereas the novel makes the round-up more ambiguous in its anti-Semitism and does not reference a "plot".