Michael Lam Headshot

Michael Lam

Assistant Professor

School of Physics and Astronomy
College of Science

585-475-7545
Office Location

Michael Lam

Assistant Professor

School of Physics and Astronomy
College of Science

Education

BA, Colgate University; MS, Ph.D., Cornell University

Bio

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 works heavily in 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 has recently rotated off as a member of NANOGrav's Equity and Climate Committee.

585-475-7545

Areas of Expertise

Select Scholarship

Lam, M. T. and Hazboun, J. S., 2021, “Precision Timing of PSR J0437−4715 with the IAR Observatory and Implications for Low-Frequency Gravitational Wave Source Sensitivity," ApJ, 911, 137

Alam, M. F., et al. (70 authors, including Lam, M. T.), 2021, “The NANOGrav 12.5-year Data Set: Observations and Narrowband Timing of 47 Millisecond Pulsars," ApJS, 252, 4

Lam, M. T., Lazio, T. J. W., Dolch, T., Jones, M. L., McLaughlin, M. A., Stinebring, D. R., Surnis,
M., 2020, “On Frequency-Dependent Dispersion Measures and the Extreme Scattering Events," ApJ, 892, 89

Pol, N., Lam, M. T., McLaughlin, M. A., Lazio, T. J. W., Cordes, J. M., 2019, "Estimates of Fast Radio Burst Dispersion Measures from Cosmological Simulations," ApJ, 886, 135

Lam, M. T., Romano, J. D., Key, J. S., Normandin, M., Hazboun, J. S., 2018, "An Acoustical Analogue of a Galactic-scale Gravitational-Wave Detector," AJP, 86, 755

Lam, M. T., Cordes, J. M., Chatterjee, S., Jones, M. L., McLaughlin, M. A., Armstrong, J. W., 2016, “Systematic and Stochastic Variations in Pulsar Dispersion Measures,” ApJ, 821, 66

Currently Teaching

ASTP-601
1 Credits
This course is the first in a two-semester sequence intended to familiarize students with research activities, practices, and ethics in the university research environment and to introduce students to commonly used research tools. As part of the course, students are expected to attend research seminars sponsored by the Astrophysical Sciences and Technology Program and participate in a weekly journal club. The course also provides training in scientific writing and presentation skills. Credits earned in this course apply to research requirements.
ASTP-789
1 - 3 Credits
This is a masters-level course on a topic that is not part of the formal curriculum. This course is structured as an ordinary course and has specific prerequisites, contact hours, and examination procedures.
ASTP-790
1 - 3 Credits
Masters-level research by the candidate on an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.
ASTP-791
0 Credits
Continuation of Thesis
ASTP-890
1 - 6 Credits
Dissertation research by the candidate for an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.
ASTP-891
0 Credits
Continuation of Thesis
PHYS-104
2 Credits
This course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of stellar astronomy including the celestial sphere, constellations, nomenclature, physical properties of stars, principles of spectroscopy as applied to astronomy, double stars, variable stars, star clusters, stellar evolution, gaseous nebulae, stellar motions and distribution, the Milky Way system, external galaxies, and cosmology.
PHYS-220
3 Credits
This course is an introduction to the basic concepts of astronomy and astrophysics for scientists and engineers. Topics include the celestial sphere, celestial mechanics, methods of data acquisition, planetary systems, stars and stellar systems, cosmology, and life in the universe.
PHYS-790
1 - 4 Credits
Graduate-level research by the candidate on an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.
PHYS-791
0 Credits
Graduate-level research by the candidate on an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.

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