David Mateos

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 Department of Quantum Physics and Astrophysics 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

– Attems, Maximilian; Bea, Yago; Casalderrey-Solana, Jorge; Mateos, David & Zilhao, Miguel 2020, ‘Dynamics of Phase Separation from Holography‘, Journal of High Energy Physics, 1, 106.

– Faedo, Anton F.; Hoyos, Carlos; Mateos, David & Subils, Javier G 2020, ‘Holographic Complex Conformal Field Theories‘, Physical Review Letters, 124, 16, 161601.

– Bantilan, Hans; Figueras, Pau & Mateos, David 2020, ‘Real-Time Dynamics of Plasma Balls from Holography‘, Physical Review Letters, 124, 19, 191601.

– Elander, Daniel; Faedo, Anton F.; Mateos, David & Subils, Javier G 2020, ‘Phase transitions in a three-dimensional analogue of Klebanov-Strassler‘, Journal Of High Energy Physics, 6, 131.

Selected research activities

Invited Talks

Real-time Dynamics of Plasma Balls in a Confining Background, “Iberian Strings 2020”, Santiago de Compostela, Spain (Jan 2020).

Real-time Dynamics of Plasma Balls, online seminar for the “t-, T- and mu-dependence in Quantum Field Theory” series (Apr 2020).

Holographic Dynamics near a Critical Point, “The Dual Mysteries of Gauge Theories and Gravity”, IIT Madras, India (Oct 2020).


Theory and phenomenology of fundamental interactions: Gravitation and Cosmology, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion (PI).

Maria de Maeztu distinction of Excellence, State Agency for Research of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (PI of one priority line).

Extreme Holography, Spanish Supercomputing Network, 3 Mhours with priority at Mare Nostrum (PI).

Supervised Theses

Aniol Sala Pascual, Master, September 4 2020, U Barcelona.


Frontiers of Theoretical Physics, Master Course at U Barcelona.


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

External referee for the Dutch Research Council (NWO).