This week in Another Wavelength, we chat with M.S. student Haley Knapp. Haley is advised by Professor John Koshel.
Where are you from?
I am from Boulder, CO.
What brought you to study optics?
I was always interested in astronomy and the universe. During my undergraduate years, I decided to try an optics class out of curiosity and immediately fell in love with it. Now I get to combine both my loves and am helping design telescopes to look into the universe
Who is your hero in science?
Carl Sagan is my hero. I remember watching his COSMOS series as a kid and was fascinated by all that he had to teach.
Describe your research in 20 words or fewer.
I am researching how stray light affects the detection of near earth object detection.
Describe your research in 200 words or fewer.
Near earth objects(NEO) are very hard to detect as they are relatively much dimmer than other objects near us, including the sun, moon and the earth. Along with cosmic dust, background radiation, and other stars, it can be very difficult to determine if what you are imaging is a NEO or just stray light in your system. Stray light is the study of unwanted light in a system that would affect image quality and sensitivity of a system. My research is into understanding where sources of stray light might exist during the search for NEOs and how one can implement smart mechanical design and careful optical requirement specifications to minimize the amount of stray light entering the system. I am still in the early stages of my research but I am excited to learn all that I can about it!
Name three neat facts about you.
- In my free time I am a Dungeon Master for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign with my friends
- I have two pets, a puppy named Vax'ildan and a cat named Tori
- Once a year I make elaborate costumes and participate in Cosplay at Comic book conventions.