BA, Colgate University; MS, Ph.D., Cornell University
Dr. Lam is an astrophysicist in the School of Physics and Astronomy. He is a member of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves, whose goal is to detect and characterize low-frequency gravitational waves coming from a variety of sources such as supermassive black hole binaries at the centers of merging galaxies. He is co-chair of the Noise Budget Working Group, whose task is to characterize noise sources in the pulsar timing array detector, optimize the sensitivity of that detector, and correct/mitigate the various sources of noise. One large component of this work is the study of the ionized interstellar medium and as such he also uses the pulsars as tools to study a wide range of small- and large-scale phenomena in the Galactic electron content. He has recently extended this work on the interstellar medium to using Fast Radio Bursts as probes of the intergalactic medium. He also works on pulsar timing observations, gravitational wave detection methods, and cyber-infrastructure development for the collaboration. In addition, he is a heavy contributor to education and public outreach efforts and is a member of NANOGrav's Equity and Climate Committee.
In the News
April 30, 2020
How could an explosive Big Bang be the birth of our universe?
Michael Lam, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, explains the Big Bang theory for the "Curious Kids" series published by The Conversation.
October 18, 2019
Detection of the most massive neutron star known
Assistant Professor Michael Lam from RIT and the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) detected the most massive neutron star known after 5-years of observations.