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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

– Faedo AF, Hoyos C, Mateos D, Subils JG, ‘Multiple mass hierarchies from complex fixed point collisions‘, JHEP 10 (2021) 246.

– Bea Y, Casalderrey-Solana J, Giannakopoulo T, Mateos D, Sanchez-Garitaonandia M, Zilhao M, ‘Bubble wall velocity from holography‘, Phys. Rev. D 104 (2021) no.12, L121903.

– Casalderrey-Solana J, Ecker C, Mateos D, van der Schee W, 2021, ‘Strong-coupling dynamics and entanglement in de Sitter space‘, JHEP 03 (2021) 181.

– Bea Y, Dias OJC, Giannakopoulos T, Mateos D, Sanchez-Garitaonandia M, Santos JE, Zilhao M, ‘Crossing a large-N phase transition at finite volume‘, JHEP 02 (2021) 61.

Selected research activities

Invited Talks (all online)

Strong-coupling dynamics and entanglement in de Sitter space, “Iberian Strings 2021”, Lisbon, Portugal..

Bubble Dynamics from Holography, “HoloTube – Applied Holography” series.

Bubble Dynamics from Holography, Institute for Theoretical Physics (ITP), Goethe University and Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS) .

Holography in the Gravitational Wave Era, Colloquium at Max Planck Institute for Theoretical Physics (Albert Einstein Institute), Potsdam, Germany.

Real-Time Dynamics of Plasma Balls (and Cosmological Bubbles) from Holography, “Applications of gauge topology, holography and string models to QCD”, Simons Centre for Geometry and Physics, USA.


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, 4.5 Mhours at Mare Nostrum (PI).

Supervised Theses

Yash Kumar, Master, U Barcelona.

Javier G. subils, PhD, U Barcelona.


Frontiers of Theoretical Physics, Master Course at U Barcelona.


Member of the advisory board of the ICCUB.

External referee for the ESF and ERC.

ICREA Memoir 2021