Roberto Emparan

Roberto Emparan

Universitat de Barcelona

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

I'm originally from Bilbao. I got both my BSc (in June 1990) and my PhD (in November 1995) in Physics from the University of the Basque Country. In January 1996 I went to the University of California, Santa Barbara, for my first postdoc. Two years later, I moved to Durham University, in northern England, for a second postdoc. Near the end of 1999 I took up a junior lecturer position back in Bilbao. I took leave from there in January 2001 to move to a Fellow position at CERN (the European Lab for Particle Physics, outside Geneva). Since January 2003 I am ICREA Research Professor at the Department of Quantum Physics and Astrophysics at Universitat de Barcelona. In 2016 I was awarded an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council.

Research interests

I try to understand the nature of spacetime at its most fundamental level. We know since Einstein that, due to the existence of gravity, spacetime is a dynamical entity. So I study the classical and quantum aspects of gravity and its most basic objects: the black holes. The natural starting point is the theory of General Relativity and the theories that naturally incorporate the ideas of holographic spacetime, namely, String and M-Theory and the AdS/CFT correspondence.

Selected publications

– Andrade T, Emparan Roberto & Licht D 2019, ‘Charged rotating black holes in higher dimensions’, Journal Of High Energy Physics, 2, 076.

– Andrade T, Emparan R, Licht D & Luna R 2019, ‘Cosmic censorship violation in black hole collisions in higher dimensions’, Journal Of High Energy Physics, 4, 121.

– Raposo G, Pani P & Emparan R 2019, ‘Exotic compact objects with soft hair’, Physical Review D, 99, 10, 104050.

– Barack L et al 2019, ‘Black holes, gravitational waves and fundamental physics: a roadmap’, Classical And Quantum Gravity, 36, 14, 143001.

Emparan R & Suzuki R 2019, ‘Topology-changing horizons at large D as Ricci flows’, Journal Of High Energy Physics, , 7, 094.

– Andrade T, Emparan R, Licht D & Luna R 2019, ‘Black hole collisions, instabilities, and cosmic censorship violation at large D’, Journal Of High Energy Physics, 9, 99.

Selected research activities

Plenary talks at:

  • “The Gravity Initiative Spring Workshop” Princeton;
  • “Big Questions series” Arizona;
  • “Challenges in Theoretical High-Energy Physics” Nordita Stockholm;
  • “Black Holes and Neutron Stars in Modified Gravity” Meudon, France;
  • “Southwest Strings Meeting 2019”, Arizona

Invited talks and colloquia at Black Hole Initiative, Harvard; MIT, Boston; U of Michigan; ITP Utrecht; GR22 Valencia; King’s Coll. London; Imperial Coll. London; London Gravity Seminar

Organizer of workshops

  • “Gravity: New perspectives from strings and higher dimensions”, Benasque Center for Science, July 2019;
  • “Iberian Strings”, January 2019, Barcelona;
  • “The vacuum of the Universe”, June 2019, Barcelona


  • 12 interviews (radio, press, tv). 12 public talks (cultural centers, high schools)
  • Invited participation in Hay Festival (Querétaro, Mexico)

Committee member of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation

Committee member of the Spanish Society of Gravitation and Relativity

Guarantor of ICCUB for María de Maeztu Award

Editorial Board member of Journal of High Energy Physics and International Journal of Modern Physics D

Panel member in ERC-2019 Starting Grants

MSc thesis supervisor of B Nelson, A Argudo, M Berenguer (U. Barcelona)