From UT to Utah (part four)

For the last time: hi everybody! This is my final blog in my Utah series. Amazing how time flies, I almost cannot believe it’s been four months since I arrived in Salt Lake City. In a week I will be leaving this city that has been my first home in the USA.

I’ve just finished writing the manuscript that we are planning on publishing soon enough. Now is the time when the paper goes around with revisions and comments from all the co-authors involved. I’ve already had a few rounds with the closest co-authors (the ones who were hand in hand with me everyday since my arrival here) and they are really really happy with the outcome.

Just in case you forgot: I was studying the nucleation rates of nanobubbles: the different time that nanobubbles take to nucleate when we apply different current levels during electrolysis. This is really important in order to understand the behavior of these nanobubbles, which appear during these chemical reactions and block the surface of the reactants, affecting thus efficiency or even impeding the reaction to occur.

Okay, now that you’re up to speed again, I will give you some hints about our achievements: we have been able to measure different times for nanobubble nucleation to occur under different currents and with that information, we have been able to calculate the activation energy (which is the minimum energy that needs to be applied to a system so that an event occurs) and we have also predicted a very precise geometry of the nanobubble on our nanoelectrodes. Unfortunately for us, we don’t have the technology to visualize our bubbles to actually check that our predictions are correct, but maybe in the future, somebody can tell me that we were right (of course, our predictions are going to be correct; we are great scientist hahaha).

Concerning my life here, even if I said that time has gone super fast, I must admit this last month was a bit slow in terms of activities. Lots of people are on holidays, so the city has been completely deserted. When you go out to have a walk, you barely see anybody in the street. Bars are also emptier as usual and you see less people in the cantina for lunch. For international people, there are usually meetings on Fridays after work for gathering and getting to know new people… but during summer, that was all on hold.

However, you see a lot of people arriving at the airport and hiring cars to go south to the National Parks. So I have spent my weekends travelling around, especially flying to other places, such as New York, a place that I have become to know pretty well. I have been there several times; it is so big that you cannot visit it in just one weekend. That city is amazing and has a lot of things to do, you always find something new.  I also must admit that there are so many tourists that at some point it is even stressful. But I got to go to the beach there, which was really nice. There is no sea close by in Utah, just big lakes which are too salty to swim in. I am now preparing to see the total eclipse, everybody in the USA is going crazy about it.

Selfie in NY!

Honestly, I am going to miss Salt Lake City, with the Mormons and their traditions and their crazy rules about alcohol and coffee (Mormons do not drink coffee either, imagine that situation in the Netherlands, hahaha). It has been a real adventure for me to come and live in the States for the first time, and especially in such a wonderful and remote place as the Mid West. I know that this was a great opportunity, because if it hadn’t been for my research, I would have never come to Utah. This place has taken part of my heart with it, I will never forget it. It has become my home in the States.

But I am going to tell you something that you will find even more surprising: I really miss Enschede. WHAT? Yes, you just read it: I miss Enschede, that city at the border with Germany, full of rain (well, I don’t miss that part), with my bicycle waiting for me, the casual beers after work, my friends… But, before going back, I will be in Sevilla for a while, because I haven’t seen my family and childhood friends in almost six months.

For you belonging to MCEC, I will see you at the MCEC School. For those other non-MCEC readers, you will be updated when my work here gets published!

See you all, fellows!