Currently, I am working with the Syracuse University Gravitational-Wave Group 

Scattered light from LIGO optics (2011 - Present)

I am currently working on a project that measures scattered light from LIGO optics. Since laser power loss decreases sensitivity, this work aims to find optics with the lowest possible scattered light. 

Contribution to the project
  • Modified Image analysis Matlab script to produce videos.
  • Measured optics to be used in LIGO quantum-noise filter cavities.
  • Measured scattered light for 3-port diffraction gratings.
  • Helped automate the Fullerton scatterometer using LabVIEW.
  • Characterized instrument limitations.

YouTube Video

click posters to see full image

Image analysis (2012)



Scattered light from LIGO quantum-noise filter cavity optics (2012)

The article was published in the Journal of the Optical Society of America A.

Magaña-Sandoval F, Smith J, Harms J, Lee J. “Large-angle scattering measurements for quantum-noise filter-cavity mirrors.” Submitted to Journal of the Optical Society of America A
. This paper describes measurements of scattered light from high quality optics, and implications for the performance filter cavities in Advanced LIGO.


Arduino Theremin (2012)

YouTube Video

Peeling Tape in a vacuum (2009)

As a community college student I engaged in independent study. Some of my work involved investigating X-rays produced by peeling tape in a vacuum. The video shows a geiger counter and our experimental setup. 

YouTube Video

Measuring nitrous oxide isotopes as tracers for pollution sources 2008

This poster was presented at the SACNAS national conference in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2008. The poster summed up my research at UCI at the Earth System Science department measuring isotope ratios of nitrous oxide.