Contributors (the Finesse team)

Towards Finesse 3 (2018)

Daniel Brown and Andreas Freise have started the re-implementation of Finesse in Python, with the idea to provide a modern and clean code base that makes further developing and extending the software simpler, especially for external contributors. The aim is to merge the established features and reliability of Finesse with a modular and hackable object based design, and to add some cool new features in the process!

Further contributors to the Finesse development are:

  • Philip Jones, PhD student at the University of Birmingham, …

  • Sean Leavey, …

  • Samuel Rowlinson, PhD student at the University of Birmingham, …

The beginnings (1997 - 2010)

Finesse has been developped by Andreas Freise during his PhD at GEO 600. Gerhard Heinzel greatly supported the orginal development; he had the idea of using the LISO routines on interferometer problems and he provided his code for that purpose. Furthermore he has been very busy as the first beta tester and has helped to develop the right ideas in many discussions. Andreas received many helpful bug reports from Guido Müller early on and always enjoyed discussing interferometer configurations with him. The latter is also true for Roland Schilling: He woudl spend hours with Andreas on the phone dicsussing C and Fortran, or interferometers and optics. Ken Strain has been a constant source of help and support during the initial years of development. During Andreas’ time at the Virgo detector Gabriele Vajente and Maddalena Mantovani have acted as faithful test pilots for the extension with the lock command. Alexander Bunkowski has initiated and helped debugging the grating implementation. Jerome Degallaix has often helped with suggestions, examples and test results based on his code OSCAR to further develop and test Finesse. Paul Cochrane has made a big difference with his help on transforming the source code from its messy original form into a more professional package, including a testsuite, an API documentation and above all a readable source code.

Finesse 1 and 2 (2011-2017)

At the University of Birmingham Andreas Freise encouraged several members of his research group to start a new phase of development, testing and using Finesse. Daniel Brown became lead programmer and provided a large number of bug fixes and new features navigating the tricky grounds of optics with high-order modes. Due to his work, Finesse reached version 1.0 and was made available as open source. Charlotte Bond became a specialist in using Finesse, in particular with mirror surface maps or strange beam shapes; and her help with Finesse has been invaluable for getting the physics of higher-order modes right. Further, Keiko Kokeyama, Paul Fulda and Ludovico Carbone have worked very hard to help making Finesse do useful things for the Advanced LIGO commissioning team.

In 2013 Daniel Brown implemented the long requested feature of radiation pressure effects in addition to a full quantum noise treatment in the two-photon formalism. Daniel was supported in this activity by other members of Andreas’ research group, especially Mengyao Wang and Rebecca Palmer; and we once again could rely on crucial assistance from Jan Harms.


Many people in the gravitational wave community have helped with feedback, bug reports and encouragement. Some of them are Seiji Kawamura, Simon Chelkowski, Keita Kawabe, Osamu Miyakawa, Rainer Künnemeyer, Uta Weiland, Michaela Malec, Oliver Jennrich, James Mason, Julien Marque, Mirko Prijatelj, Jan Harms, Oliver Bock, Kentaro Somiya, Antonio Chiummo, Holger Wittel, Hartmut Grote, Bryan Barr, Sabina Huttner, Haixing Miao, Benjamin Jacobs, Stefan Ballmer, Nicolas Smith-Lefebvre, Daniel Shaddock and probably many more not mentioned here.

Last but not least we would like to thank the GEO 600 group, especially Karsten Danzmann and Benno Willke, who allowed Andreas to work on Finesse in parallel to his experimental work on the GEO site. Finesse would not exist without their positive and open attitude towards young scientists.