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  • 2012-date: Lecturer, DAMTP, University of Cambridge
  • 2010-2012: Ramon y Cajal Researcher, Institute of Space Sciences, CSIC-IEEC Barcelona
  • 2008-2010: Senior Postdoc, Division of Physics, Maths and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology
  • 2005-2008: Postdoc, Theoretical Physics Institute, University of Jena
  • 2002-2005: Postdoc, Center for Gravitational Wave Physics, Penn State University
  • 2001-2002: Postdoc, Department of Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • 1998-2001: PhD, School of Mathematics, University of Southampton


Ulrich Sperhake is a member of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics General Relativity  research group. His current research interests are Numerical Relativity, Black Holes as sources of Gravitational Waves, High-Energy Collisions of Black Holes.

Selected Publications


  • M.Kesden, D.Gerosa, R.O'Shaughnessy, E.Berti, U.Sperhake, "Effective potentials and morphological transitions for binary black-hole spin precession", Phys. Rev. Lett. 114 (2015) 081103
  • U.Sperhake, E.Berti, V.Cardoso and F.Pretorius, "Universality, maximum radiation and absorption in high-energy collisions of black holes with spin", Phys. Rev. Lett. 106 (2011) 161103
  • C.D.Ott, C.Reisswig, E.Schnetter, E.O'Connor, U.Sperhake, F.Loeffler, P.Diener, E.Abdikamalov, I.Hawke and A.Burrows, "Dynamics and Gravitational Wave Signature of Collapsar Formation", Phys. Rev. Lett. 106 (2011) 161103
  • M.Zilhao, H.Witek, U.Sperhake, V.Cardoso, L.Gualtieri, C.Herdeiro and A.Nerozzi, "Numerical relativity for D dimensional axially symmetric space-times: formalism and code tests", Phys. Rev. D 81 (2010) 084052
  • U.Sperhake, V.Cardoso, F.Pretorius, E.Berti, T.Hinderer and N. Yunes, "Cross section, final spin and zoom-whirl behavior in high-energy black hole collisions", Phys. Rev. Lett. 103 (2009) 131102
  • B.Aylott et al., "Testing gravitational-wave searches with numerical relativity waveforms: Results from the first Numerical INJection Analysis (NINJA) project", Class. Quantum Grav. 26 (2009) 165008
  • U.Sperhake, V.Cardoso, F.Pretorius, E.Berti and J.A.Gonzalez, "The high-energy collision of two black holes", Phys. Rev. Lett. 101 (2008) 161101
  • P.Ajith et al., "A Template bank for gravitational waveforms from coalescing binary black holes. I. Non-spinning binaries", Phys. Rev. D 77 (2008) 104017
  • J.A.Gonzalez, M.D.Hannam, U.Sperhake, B.Bruegmann and S.Husa, "Supermassive kicks for spinning black holes", Phys. Rev. Lett. 98 (2007) 231101
  • J.A.Gonzalez, U.Sperhake, B.Bruegmann, M.D.Hannam and S.Husa, "The maximum kick from nonspinning black-hole binary inspiral", Phys. Rev. Lett. 98 (2007) 091101
  • E.Berti, V.Cardoso, J.A. Gonzalez, U.Sperhake, M.Hannam, S.Husa and B.Bruegmann, "Inspiral, merger and ringdown of unequal mass black hole binaries: A multipolar analysis", Phys. Rev. D 76 (2007) 064034
  • U.Sperhake, "Binary black-hole evolutions of excision and puncture data", Phys. Rev. D 76 (2007) 104015


Lessons for adaptive mesh refinement in numerical relativity
M Radia, U Sperhake, A Drew, K Clough, P Figueras, EA Lim, JL Ripley, JC Aurrekoetxea, T França, T Helfer
– Classical and Quantum Gravity
Evidence for violations of Weak Cosmic Censorship in black hole collisions in higher dimensions
T Andrade, P Figueras, U Sperhake
– The Journal of High Energy Physics
Malaise and remedy of binary boson-star initial data
T Helfer, U Sperhake, R Croft, M Radia, B-X Ge, EA Lim
– Classical and Quantum Gravity
The irreducible mass and the horizon area of LIGO's black holes
D Gerosa, CM Fabbri, U Sperhake
GRChombo: An adaptable numerical relativity code for fundamental physics
T Andrade, LA Salo, JC Aurrekoetxea, J Bamber, K Clough, R Croft, ED Jong, A Drew, A Duran, PG Ferreira, P Figueras, H Finkel, T França, B-X Ge, C Gu, T Helfer, J Jäykkä, C Joana, M Kunesch, K Kornet, EA Lim, F Muia, Z Nazari, M Radia, J Ripley, P Shellard, U Sperhake, D Traykova, S Tunyasuvunakool, Z Wang, JY Widdicombe, K Wong
– Journal of Open Source Software, 6(68), 3703, 2021
Anomalies in the gravitational recoil of eccentric black-hole mergers with unequal mass ratios
M Radia, U Sperhake, E Berti, R Croft
– Physical Review D
Evidence for violations of Weak Cosmic Censorship in black hole collisions in higher dimensions
T Andrade, P Figueras, U Sperhake
Structure of neutron stars in massive scalar-tensor gravity
R Rosca-Mead, CJ Moore, U Sperhake, M Agathos, D Gerosa
– Symmetry
Core collapse in massive scalar-tensor gravity
R Rosca-Mead, U Sperhake, CJ Moore, M Agathos, D Gerosa, CD Ott
– Physical Review D: Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Amplification of superkicks in black-hole binaries through orbital eccentricity
U Sperhake, R Rosca-Mead, D Gerosa, E Berti
– Physical Review D
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Research Group

Relativity and Gravitation




01223 766861