Germany. What to say? Already the experience has been an interesting one. I could say that it is different from America but that would be akin to saying that watermelons are different from apples. What is surprising is the ways in which the two differ. One of the most amazing differences is the water. The water here is so clean! I do not mean the bottles water I mean the tap water. It has none of that vaguely disquieting taste of metal that I have come to expect form city water no it is entirely and wonderfully tasteless. Another difference in the water is seen when you consider the water ordered in restaurants. Here in Germany if you order water it is assumed you wanted mineral water. You have to specify that you want tap or still water. Personally I do not understand why this is true because their tap water is excellent as I previously noted, but there is some sort of stigma attached to it they see tap water as toilet water.
I also feel as though I am constantly whispering. It is a lot quieter here in Saarbrücken. So what I consider a normal talking voice is really more like yelling to them. It is at once fascinating and frustrating. You quickly become very conscious of your own tone. I am not entirely sure if it is just a difference between America and Germany or just between being in a big city and something that I would call a town albeit a large town that is still nowhere as large as the city that I am used to. But I still need to do more traveling to see if this is true.
“Germany Has fought many wars with bureaucracy, and lost them all” After this last week I truly appreciate the truth of that statement. In all honesty the last week can be split into two distinct parts. Reading and paperwork. There was sadly more of the paperwork than the reading. Well that is not true but the paperwork just felt like it would never end. In truth we spent hours reading because. We needed to get ready for the research but more on that later. The one thing that was confusing was the back and forth. We would basically get sent from one person’s office to the other with instructions on what to do when we got there, only to be sent back to the office we came from before... with the same instructions. With that said I can say that had we been in America the amount of hoops we would have to jump through to get health insurance would make the best of trained seals throw up their fins in protest So I guess it wasn’t really that bad.
Not much to be said at this point the objective of the project is still unclear to me. I do know that I will be working with pseudo caps, short for pseudo capacitors. This form of electrochemical capacitor is closely related to the well-known EDLC (Electrochemical Double layer capacitor). They store energy by means of redox reactions instead of in a helmholtz double layer(as do EDLC's). In particular I think we are trying to implant Pani(Polyaniline) on Carbon fibers derived from PAN(PolyAcryloNitrile). It is difficult to do this for several reasons. One is because we are not sure we can stop the PAni from completely covering the pan(this would make surface area smaller which is very bad) and we are not yet sure how to sythesize the polyaniline /o a very strong carbon destroying acid which would destroy the surface we are trying to coat. There are many things to consider in this experiment so it will either work of be a complete mess i have no idea which one it will be yet.