There is an often repeated story that Robert Oppenheimer, one of the leaders of the Manhattan Project, quoted the Bhagavad Gita after witnessing the first nuclear test.
One version of the story is told here:
Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist who directed the Manhattan Project that built the two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, remained morally ambivalent about his role in the entire matter. He summed up the effect the first experimental test, code named Trinity, of an atom bomb had on him; he said, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”, a rough translation of a verse from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita.
Thomas Jones repeats the story that Robert Oppenheimer quoted the Bhagavad Gita after witnessing the first successful nuclear weapons test in New Mexico: ‘I am become Death, destroyer of worlds.’ I once had the chance to ask his brother, Frank, who was standing next to him at the time, what Oppie’s actual words were. Frank’s recollection was that he said: ‘I guess it worked.’
Jeremy Bernstein New York
So did he say the quote after the test?