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GWPAC member and junior physics major Adrian Avila-Alvarez and GWPAC director Josh Smith attended the 2013 SACNAS National Conference in San Antonio, TX October 3-6.

Adrian presented a poster on his CSUF research entitled, "Scattered Light Measurements for Advanced LIGO's Output Mode-Cleaner Mirrors." This work, funded by Josh's NSF CAREER award, is aimed at characterizing the optics that are used to improve the shot noise limit to sensitivity of the Advanced LIGO detectors. 

adrian-sacnas2013-poster

Josh helped to staff the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) outreach and recruitment booth.

Among the highlights of the meeting were an incredible keynote address by biologist and nobel laureate Dr. Martin Chalfie and an inspiring welcome from San Antonio mayor Julian Castro.  

gravity-waves

While en route, Josh and Adrian also witnessed a very strong set of cloud lines caused by gravity waves (not to be confused with gravitational waves!), an atmospheric phenomenon caused by air being pressed up over mountains and then oscillating like a pendulum forming clouds at each of its crests.

Adrian and Josh are already looking forward to SACNAS 2014 in LA!