July 30, 1942
Professor H.J. Lucas
I hear from Dr. Dunham that it is probable that a contract will be made with the Institute for work on surface layers
on glass and plastic. The contract itself is based on a letter which I sent to Dr. Dunham, a copy of which is enclosed. If
the contract is made, which will be decided on August 7, it will probably be dated August 1. I suggest that, beginning August
1, you have Brockman begin making various alkyl silicates and aluminates, to be used in the work. It would be good for you
to get hold of some samples of lucite or other plastic and carry out some experiments on the deposition of surface layers
by hydrolysis of these silicates or aluminates on these plastics. Glass samples can be obtained from the Mt. Wilson Observatory,
and experimental work out to be begun with glass at once. I understand that the Committee is perhaps more interested in plastics
than in glass.
The work on plastics will of course in part duplicate work which Dr. Williams has done. I think that your program
cannot be discussed with Dr. Williams, without obtaining special permission. It may well be that you should go ahead independently
anyway, since there may be such better ways of tackling the problem than those Dr. Williams has tried.
As soon as I have talked with Dr. Dunham, I shall discuss with you the question of whether or not to hire Dr. Brantley
to work on the project until the fall term at Occidental begins.