David Mateos

Universitat de Barcelona

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

I was born in 1974 in Barcelona. I obtained my PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University of Barcelona in 2000. After that I enjoyed many years of wonderful postdoctoral life at Cambridge University, UK (2 years), Perimeter Institute, Canada (3 years) and University of California at Santa Barbara, USA (3 years). I am an ICREA Research Professor at the Dep. of Fundamental Phys. at the University of Barcelona since July 2008. In 2012 I was awarded a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (1.4 M€).

Research interests

My main goal is to understand the physics of the Universe at the most fundamental level. Our present understanding is based on two theories. General relativity is a classical theory that provides a good description of gravitational interactions at large, macroscopic scales. The other three interactions, the electromagnetic, the strong and the weak interactions, are unified in a quantum theory, the so-called Standard Model of elementary particles. The answers to many important questions in fundamental physics require a unified, quantum theory of all interactions; these questions include the quantum properties of black holes, cosmology and the origin of the Universe, particle physics beyond the Standard Model, etc. For this reason I work on string theory, a quantum theory that has the potential to describe all forces and particles in Nature in a single, unified framework.

Selected publications

– Faedo AF, Mateos D, Pantelidou C & Tarrio J 2017, ‘Towards a Holographic Quark Matter Crystal’, JHEP, 1710, 139.

– Attems M, Casalderrey-Solana J, Mateos D, Santos-Olivan D, Sopuerta DF, Triana M & Zilhao M 2017, ‘Paths to equilibrium in non-conformal collisions‘, JHEP, 1706, 154.

– Attems M, Bea Y, Casalderrey-Solana J, Mateos D, Triana M & Zilhao M 2017, ‘Phase Transitions, Inhomogeneous Horizons and Second-Order Hydrodynamics‘, JHEP, 1706, 129.

– Faedo AF, Mateos D, Pravos D & Subils JG 2017, ‘Mass Gap without Confinement‘, JHEP, 1706, 153.

– Faedo AF, Mateos D, Pantelidou C & Tarrio J 2017, ‘Holography with a Landau pole‘, JHEP, 1702, 047.

– Attems M, Casalderrey-Solana J, Mateos D, Santos-Olivan D, Sopuerta CF, Triana M  & Zilho M 2017, ‘Holographic Collisions in Non-conformal Theories‘, JHEP, 1701, 026.

Selected research activities


Extreme Holography, Institute for Theoretical Physics, U of Utrecht, Netherlands.

Invited Conference Talks

Extreme Holography, `Holography, gauge theory and black holes’, STAG Research Centre, U of Southampton, UK.

Extreme Holography, ‘Canterbury Tales of Hot QFTs in the LHC Era’, St John’s college, Oxford, UK.

Extreme Holography, ‘Holography and Quantum Matter’, IFT, Madrid, Spain.

Holography and Quark Matter, ‘Holographic dense QCD and neutron stars’, ENS, Paris, France.

Extreme Holography, ‘Aspects of Time-dependent Holography’, U of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Reseacrh Stays

University of California at Santa Barbara, USA (Aug 2017).

Supervised Theses

Miquel Triana (PhD), Sep 2017, U of Barcelona.

Daniel Perez (Master), Sep 2017, U of Barcelona.


Frontiers of Theoretical Physics, Master Course at U of Barcelona.


Member of the advisory board of the Institute for Cosmos Sciences, U of Barcelona.

Guarantor of the Maria de Maeztu project of the Institute for Cosmos Sciences, U of Barcelona.