After his lecture, Heisenberg meets Rabi and Oppenheimer. Robert reveals his intent to return to America to address the lack of serious attention towards quantum mechanics, which is his primary reason for returning:

Isador Rabi: He's pining for the canyons of Manhattan.

ROBERT: Canyons of New Mexico.

For me, it seems for me that Isador Rabi initially suggested that Robert was longing for the “canyons of Manhattan,” but Robert clarified that he was actually referring to the “canyons of New Mexico.

Does it mean that Robert is correcting Isador Rabi when he says ‘Canyons of New Mexico’?

1 Answer 1


Yes. Isador Rabi's comment about the "canyons of Manhattan" suggests Robert's yearning for the urban area of Manhattan. (assumed by Isador Rabi)

However when Robert corrects him by stating "canyons of New Mexico" he tries to indicate the geographical features of New Mexico (probably Los Almos, where the Manhattan Project took place).

The correction itself showed Robert's love and affection towards the natural landscape of New Mexico rather than the urban environment of Manhattan.

  • 3
    Oppenheimer owned a ranch in New Mexico, and that later influenced the choice of location for the project. Apr 19 at 9:23

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