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Luis Lehner Physicist

Luis Lehner’s research interests focus on understanding strongly gravitating systems, both in standard four-dimensional spacetimes as well as higher-dimensional ones. In four dimensions, systems containing black holes and neutron stars play a central role as drivers of spectacular phenomena like AGN and gamma-ray bursters, and the generation of gravitational waves strong enough to be detected by earth and space-based facilities. The detection of these gravitational waves will enable scientists to infer important properties of their sources by comparing the measured signals with those predicted by theoretical models.

Obtaining these models is a formidable challenge, and in many situations can only be done via numerical simulations. In higher-dimensional scenarios, understanding gravitational effects may shed light on the classical limit of prospective theories of gravity. Again, in many scenarios this also requires numerical simulations.

Lehner’s work concentrates on obtaining these simulations, which require work at the analytical and computational levels, and on extracting sought-after information from them. Research in this area is referred to as Numerical Relativity, and is currently pushing the boundaries of analytical and numerical capabilities, as well as the largest available computational resources.


Member of the Scientific Council of the ICTP South American Institute for Fundamental Research (ICTP- SAIFR), 2015-present.

Fellow of the International Society of General Relativity and Gravitation, 2013.

Fellow of the American Physical Society, 2009.

Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, 2002.

Nicholas Metropolis Award, American Physical Society, 1999.

Relevant Publications

L. Lehner and F. Pretorius, "Numerical Relativity and Astrophysics," Ann. Rev. Astron. Astr., vol. 52, pp. 661-694, Aug. 2014.

H. Yang et al, "Turbulent Black Holes," Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 114, pp. 081101, Feb. 2015.

C. Palenzuela et al, "Electromagnetic and Gravitational Outputs from Binary-Neutron-Star Coalescence," Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 111, pp. 061105, Aug. 2013.

L. Lehner and F. Pretorisu, "Black Strings, Low Viscosity Fluids, and Violation of Cosmic Censorship," Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 105, pp. 101102, Sept. 2010.

C. Palenzuela et al, "Dual Jets from Binary Black Holes," Science, vol. 329, no. 5994, pp. 927-930, Aug. 2010.



Senior Fellow Gravity & the Extreme Universe


Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics


PhD (Physics) University of Pittsburgh



Ideas Related to Luis Lehner

Symposium Debrief | Cosmology & Gravity

Symposium Brief: Untangling the Cosmos

On May 17, 2017, CIFAR, in partnership with the Ontario Science Centre, held a day-long symposium called “Untangling the Cosmos:...

Video | Cosmology & Gravity

Ripples of the Universe; Gravitational Waves

Senior Fellow Luis Lehner presents at CIFAR’s Untangling the Cosmos Symposium.