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Raimon Luna, a former Institute of Cosmos Sciences PhD student, has received the second prize of the XVII Ramon Margalef Award to the best article published in a renowned scientific magazine derived from a doctoral thesis read at the University of Barcelona in the last five years.

The name of the recognised paper, which appeared on the Journal of High Energy Physics on April 18 of 2019, is “Cosmic censorship violation in black hole collisions in higher dimensions” and it was written along with co-authors Tomás Andrade (ICCUB), David Licht (ICCUB) and Dr Luna’s thesis advisor, Roberto Emparan (ICREA, ICCUB). The main contribution of Raimon Luna consisted on the development of an efficient algorithm to solve the dynamic equations for black holes based in spectral numerical methods. The simulations obtained with this algorithm, support the hypotesis of a violation of the Weak Cosmic Censorship hypothesis in high angular momentum conditions. This code has also allowed the team to analyse in detail the final state of black hole collisions and to locate them in a phase diagram.

With this paper, the authors have presented the first theoretical evidence that black hole collisions can yield naked singularities, which are spacetime points where the laws of Einstein’s General Relativity break down. This result hints at the necessity of new physics beyond the current theory of gravity.

The Ramon Margalef award is a subcategory of the Awards of the Social Board of the University of Barcelona given to the best scientific works derived from doctoral thesis read at the UB. The University of Barcelona regards its doctoral programmes as one of its crucial assets to improve our knowledge of the world around us and to foster a high quality research to give back to society the adquired knowledge.

The award ceremony will take place on Wednesday, December 1st at 6 pm at the Aula Magna of the Historic Building of the University of Barcelona. Please join us at the event to offer our congratulations to Dr Luna.