Gordon meets with Lakin in his office. Lakin has invited him to discuss the NSF grant.
Lakin wants them to write about Gordon's nuclear resonance problem and start by publishing a piece in Physics Review Letters.
Gordon argues they don't have any results to publish, but Lakin pish-poshes this sentiment, saying he feels they might have discovered a new physical effect. They can call it "spontaneous resonance" as a working name.
Gordon remains hesitant, but Lakin pushes that this is exactly what they need for the grant profile.
And, he adds sinisterly, if Gordon's experiment doesn't yield results, then Lakin will have little support for him when it comes time to review Gordon's position at the university.
Gordon picks his mother up from Lindbergh Field. When they are almost to his house, Mrs. Bernstein brings up Penny. Gordon explains she is a California girl, but his mother seems doubtful.
At dinner, Mrs. Bernstein starts a conversation with Penny about literature, and it is clear she does not approve of her son's girlfriend.
After dinner, Mrs. Bernstein leaves, making it explicitly clear that she doesn't not approve of her son dating both a non-Jewish woman and living with her outside of marriage.
When Gordon returns, he lets Penny know she won't win the '''Susan Semite' contest" (8.115), not that she was ever in the running.
The next day, Gordon goes to check on his mother at her hotel. He finds she has checked out and left a note for him.
The note explains her worry and her hopes that Gordon will see the truth about Penny and his relationship one day.