AIR MAIL, Balliol College
Feb. 21, 1948
Prof. J. H. Sturdivant
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena 4, California
I have just received the check for the equivalent of $100 (£24.13.10) made out to
Mr. F. C. Romeyn, and I shall turn it over to him at once.
I have asked Romeyn to continue to work through the months of March, April, May, and
June, and have told him that we would make him an additional grant of $l00 per month
for this period of four months. Would you please arrange to have the sum sent to
him (probably , in a letter addressed to me, as was the first check). Romeyn has
turned out to be a good man, with interesting ideas. He knows a lot about the properties
of metals and intermetallic compounds, including the magnetic properties, and has
developed independently the idea that a considerable transfer of electrons from one
atom to another takes place in a number of the metal1ic compounds.
The metal work is going along very well. David Shoemaker has been getting some lateraling
results, by a method which is a development of the method of cells. Hans Kuhn has
continued to make calculations about hybridized orbitals, and Romeyn is working along
the lines mentioned above.
I have just had a great stroke of luck. While giving my lecture on Tuesday I suddenly
realized that a calculation about resonance energy of metals that I had just made
and was reporting contained the key to the strange valence numbers and numbers of
atomic orbitals and unused orbitals that have turned up in my theory of valency of
metals. I have now been working the whole business out, and all of the mystery has
now vanished. The new treatment not only provides a pretty good theoretical derivation
of all of the valence numbers, including (though not in quite so straightforward a
way) the anomalous ones for chromium and manganese, but also provides an explanation
of why gray and white tin assume the
structures that they have. There seems to be a suggestion of an explanation of the
anomalous axial ratios of zinc, cadmium, and mercury, and of other peculiarities,
but I am not sure how well these matters will develop.
It became cold yesterday, and about an inch of snow fell (rather, day before yesterday),
and it has begun to snow again today. The temperature is about 24° F., and it looks
as though we are in for a cold spell. However, our little apartment is equipped with
a lot of coal, and several electric heaters, and we are not expecting to be cold.
I sit right up against the electric heater in my room in Balliol, where I do most
of my work, and manage to keep quite comfortable.
Has any report been sent in on the Carbide and Carbon metals Fund since I left? I
am writing a brief report, and shall send a copy to you. Perhaps the best thing
would be for Soldate and Fred Ewing to send a statement to me about their activities,
for inclusion in the next report.
P.S. Dr. Sturdivant:
The understanding we had with Dr. Romeyn was that he was to receive for the winter
term and then more if he stayed on into next term. As he is leaving, I am returning
the check herewith.