Nicholas (Naperville Central High School)
Mentor: Chris Stoughton

With the rising cost of optical equipment, it is becoming increasingly difficult to conduct experiments which utilize them. Finesse is a freeware program which creates an ideal environment to simulate the behavior of light in optical cavities. Through knowledge of the properties of light, mirrors, and waves, we can analyze different configurations for optical cavities and identify the attributes of its components which lead to the greatest amount of power build-up. This information is used for the Holometer experiment to create an idea of how precise laser and mirror alignments must be. The results also provide information to ground motion detectors to dictate the type of noise they must limit.

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