# Stefano LiberatiScuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati di Trieste | SISSA · Mathematical Physics Group

Stefano Liberati

Ph.D. Astrophysics

## About

311

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Introduction

Additional affiliations

October 2015 - November 2015

December 2010 - September 2015

## Publications

Publications (311)

We look for possible evidence of a nonminimal coupling (NMC) between dark matter (DM) and gravity using data from the X-COP compilation of galaxy clusters. We consider a theoretically motivated NMC that may dynamically arise from the collective behavior of the coarse-grained DM field (e.g., via Bose–Einstein condensation) with averaging/coherence l...

Penrose’s singularity theorem implies that if a trapped region forms in a gravitational collapse, then a singularity must form as well within such region. However, it is widely expected that singularities should be generically avoided by quantum gravitational effects. Here we shall explore both the minimum requirements to avoid singularities in a g...

Infrared observations of Sgr A$^*$ and M87$^*$ are incompatible with the assumption that these sources have physical surfaces in thermal equilibrium with their accreting environments. In this paper we discuss a general parametrization of the energy balance in a horizonless object, which permits to quantify how close a horizonless object is in its b...

A well-defined variational principle for gravitational actions typically requires to cancel boundary terms produced by the variation of the bulk action with a suitable set of boundary counterterms. This can be achieved by carefully balancing the coefficients multiplying the bulk operators with those multiplying the boundary ones. A typical example...

Using a quantum tunneling derivation, we show the resilience of Hawking radiation in Lorentz violating gravity. In particular, we show that the standard derivation of the Hawking effect in relativistic quantum field theory can be extended to Lorentz breaking situations thanks to the presence of universal horizons (causal boundaries for infinite spe...

We look for possible evidence of a non-minimal coupling (NMC) between dark matter (DM) and gravity using data from the X-COP compilation of galaxy clusters. We consider a theoretically motivated NMC that may dynamically arise from the collective behavior of the coarse-grained DM field (e.g., via Bose-Einstein condensation) with averaging/coherence...

A bstract
There is growing evidence that Hořava gravity may be a viable quantum theory of gravity. It is thus legitimate to expect that gravitational collapse in the full, non-projectable version of the theory should result in geometries that are free of space-time singularities. Previous analyses have shown that such geometries must belong to one...

Using a quantum tunneling derivation, we show the resilience of Hawking radiation in Lorentz violating gravity. In particular, we show that the standard derivation of the Hawking effect in relativistic quantum field theory can be extended to Lorentz breaking situations thanks to the presence of universal horizons (causal boundaries for infinite spe...

We consider possible perturbations of the black hole event horizon induced by matter with spin, extending the derivation of the Hawking-Hartle formula (tidal heating) in the presence of torsion. When specialized to theories with a nonvanishing (pseudo-)traceless component of the (con)torsion tensor, we remarkably find that the tidal heating phenome...

The possible detection of echoes in late gravitational wave signals is the most promising way to test horizonless alternatives to general relativistic black holes, and probe the physics of these hypothetical ultracompact objects. While there is currently no evidence for the presence of such signatures, better accuracy is expected with the growing w...

Penrose's singularity theorem implies that if a trapped region forms in a gravitational collapse, then a singularity must form as well within such region. However, it is widely expected that singularities should be generically avoided by quantum gravitational effects. Here we shall explore both the minimum requirements to avoid singularities in a g...

Regular black holes are generically unstable because of the phenomenon that goes by the name of "mass inflation" which destabilizes the inner horizon. In recent works, [arXiv:2209.10612v1 and arXiv:2211.09192v1], it is argued that Hawking radiation can cure this instability and some concerns are raised against the validity of the previous analyses...

We present a rotating regular black hole whose inner horizon has zero surface gravity for any value of the spin parameter and is, therefore, stable against mass inflation. Our metric is built by combining two successful strategies for regularizing singularities, i.e., by replacing the mass parameter with a function of r and by introducing a conform...

We discuss the tension between the possible existence of Painlevé–Gullstrand coordinate systems versus the explicit geometrical features of the Kerr spacetime; a subject of interest to Professor Thanu Padmanabhan in the weeks immediately preceding his unexpected death. We shall carefully distinguish strong and weak Painlevé–Gullstrand coordinate sy...

We illustrate that regular black holes and horizonless stars, typically considered as quite distinct families of black hole mimickers, are intimately intertwined. We show that any spherically symmetric regular black hole can be continuously deformed into a horizonless star under the mild conditions of non-negativity of gravitational energy (Misner-...

We discuss the tension between the possible existence of Painleve-Gullstrand coordinate systems versus the explicit geometrical features of the Kerr spacetime; a subject of interest to Professor Thanu Padmanabhan in the weeks immediately preceding his unexpected death. We shall carefully distinguish strong and weak Painleve-Gullstrand coordinate sy...

Black holes in Lorentz violating gravity, such as Einstein-Aether or Hořava-Lifshitz Gravity, are drastically different from their general relativistic siblings. Although they allow for superluminal motion in their vicinity, they still exhibit an absolute causal boundary in the form of a universal horizon. By working in the tunneling picture for a...

A possible way to capture the effects of quantum gravity in spacetime at a mesoscopic scale, for relatively low energies, is through an energy-dependent metric, such that particles with different energies probe different spacetimes. In this context, a clear connection between a geometrical approach and modifications of the special relativistic kine...

A bstract
Generic models of regular black holes have separate outer and inner horizons, both with nonzero surface gravity. It has been shown that a nonzero inner horizon surface gravity results in exponential instability at the inner horizon controlled by this parameter. This phenomenon takes the name of “mass inflation instability”, and its presen...

We consider possible perturbations of the black hole event horizon induced by matter with spin, extending the derivation of the Hawking-Hartle formula (tidal heating) in the presence of torsion. When specialised to the Einstein-Cartan theory (an extension of general relativity accounting for non-vanishing torsion while keeping strictly zero non-met...

The images of Sagittarius A* recently released by the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration have been accompanied [ Astrophys. J. Lett. 930 (2022) L17] by an analysis of the constraints on the possible absence of a trapping horizon, i.e. on the possibility that the object at the center of our galaxy is an ultra-compact object with a surface re-emit...

Understanding the quantum nature of spacetime and gravity remains one of the most ambitious goals of theoretical physics. It promises to provide key new insights into fundamental particle theory, astrophysics, cosmology and the foundations of physics. Despite this common goal, the community of quantum gravity researchers is sometimes seen as divide...

We present a rotating regular black hole whose inner horizon has zero surface gravity for any value of the spin parameter, and is therefore stable against mass inflation. Our metric is built by combining two successful strategies for regularizing singularities, i.e. by replacing the mass parameter with a function of $r$ and by introducing a conform...

Black holes in Lorentz violating gravity, such as Einstein--Aether or Horava--Lifshitz Gravity, are drastically different from their general relativistic siblings. Although they allow for superluminal motion in their vicinity, they still exhibit an absolute causal boundary in the form of a universal horizon. By working in the tunneling picture for...

A possible way to capture the effects of quantum gravity in spacetime at a mesoscopic scale, for relatively low energies, is through an energy dependent metric, such that particles with different energies probe different spacetimes. In this context, a clear connection between a geometrical approach and modifications of the special relativistic kine...

We study scalar test-field perturbations on top of a Kerr–black-bounce background, i.e., a family of rotating regular black holes and/or rotating traversable wormholes that can mimic Kerr black holes. We compute the quasinormal modes for a massless field in both the regular black holes and wormhole branches, confirming the stability of the former a...

The possible detection of echoes in late gravitational-wave signals is the most promising way to test horizonless alternatives to general relativistic black holes, and probe the physics of these hypothetical ultra-compact objects. While there is currently no evidence for the presence of such signatures, better accuracy is expected with the growing...

The images of Sagittarius A$^*$ recently released by the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration have been accompanied [Ap.J.Lett.\,{\bf 930\,\#2}\,(2022)\,L17] by an analysis of the constraints on the possible absence of a trapping horizon, i.e.~on the possibility that the object at the center of our galaxy is an ultra-compact object with a surface...

Generic models of regular black holes have separate outer and inner horizons, both with nonzero surface gravity. It has been shown that a nonzero inner horizon surface gravity results in exponential instability at the inner horizon controlled by this parameter. This phenomenon takes the name of "mass inflation instability", and its presence has put...

We discuss particle production in spacetimes endowed with a universal horizon in Einstein-aether and Hořava gravity. We argue that continuity and differentiability of the lapse function require the orientation of the foliation in the interior of the horizon to be reversed with respect to the exterior one. Unless this is allowed, interaction of grav...

The possibility that rotating black holes could be natural particle accelerators has been subject of intense debate. While it appears that for extremal Kerr black holes arbitrarily high center of mass energies could be achieved, several works pointed out that both theoretical as well as astrophysical arguments would severely dampen the attainable e...

The classical and continuum limit of a quantum gravitational setting could lead, at mesoscopic regimes, to a very different notion of geometry w.r.t. the pseudo-Riemannian one of special and general relativity. A possible way to characterize this modified space-time notion is by a momentum dependent metric, in such a way that particles with differe...

The classical and continuum limit of a quantum gravitational setting could lead, at mesoscopic regimes, to a very different notion of geometry with respect to the pseudo-Riemannian one of special and general relativity. A possible way to characterize this modified spacetime notion is by a momentum-dependent metric, in such a way that particles with...

We look for empirical evidence of a nonminimal coupling (NMC) between dark matter (DM) and gravity in the dynamics of local spiral galaxies. In particular, we consider a theoretically motivated NMC that may arise dynamically from the collective behavior of the coarse-grained DM field (e.g., via Bose–Einstein condensation) with averaging/coherence l...

Regular black holes represent a conservative model in which the classical singularity is replaced by a non-singular core without necessarily modifying the spacetime outside the trapping horizon. Given the possible lack of phenomenological signatures, it is crucial to study the consistency of the model. In this short work, we review the physical mec...

Regular black holes represent a conservative model in which the classical singularity is replaced by a non-singular core without necessarily modifying the spacetime outside the trapping horizon. Given the possible lack of phenomenological signatures, it is crucial to study the consistency of the model. In this short work, we review the physical mec...

We look for empirical evidence of a non-minimal coupling (NMC) between dark matter (DM) and gravity in the dynamics of local spiral galaxies. In particular, we consider a theoretically motivated NMC that may arise dynamically from the collective behavior of the coarse-grained DM field (e.g., via Bose-Einstein condensation) with averaging/coherence...

In a quantum gravity theory, spacetime at mesoscopic scales can acquire a novel structure very different from the classical concept of general relativity. A way to effectively characterize the quantum nature of spacetime is through a momentum dependent space-time metric. There is a vast literature showing that this geometry is related to relativist...

The exploration of the universe has recently entered a new era thanks to the multi-messenger paradigm, characterized by a continuous increase in the quantity and quality of experimental data that is obtained by the detection of the various cosmic messengers (photons, neutrinos, cosmic rays and gravitational waves) from numerous origins. They give u...

A bstract
We present a systematic study of the geometric structure of non-singular spacetimes describing black holes in Lorentz-violating gravity. We start with a review of the definition of trapping horizons, and the associated notions of trapped and marginally trapped surfaces, and then study their significance in frameworks with modified dispers...

We discuss particle production in spacetimes endowed with a universal horizon in Einstein--Aether and Horava gravity. We argue that continuity and differentiability of the lapse function requires the interior of the horizon to be causally reversed with respect to its exterior. Unless this is allowed, interaction of gravitating scalar fields with th...

We study scalar test-field perturbations on top of a Kerr--black-bounce background, i.e. a family of rotating regular black holes and/or rotating traversable wormholes that can mimic Kerr black holes. We compute the quasi-normal modes for a massless field in both the regular black holes and wormhole branches, confirming the stability of the former...

The exploration of the universe has recently entered a new era thanks to the multi-messenger paradigm, characterized by a continuous increase in the quantity and quality of experimental data that is obtained by the detection of the various cosmic messengers (photons, neutrinos, cosmic rays and gravitational waves) from numerous origins. They give u...

We present a systematic study of the geometric structure of non-singular spacetimes describing black holes in Lorentz-violating gravity. We start with a review of the definition of trapping horizons, and the associated notions of trapped and marginally trapped surfaces, and then study their significance in frameworks with modified dispersion relati...

The Raychaudhuri equations for the expansion, shear, and vorticity are generalized in a spacetime with torsion for timelike as well as null congruences. These equations are purely geometrical like the original Raychaudhuri equations and could be reduced to them when there is no torsion. Using the Einstein-Cartan-Sciama-Kibble field equations, the e...

In a quantum gravity theory, spacetime at mesoscopic scales can acquire a novel structure very different from the classical concept of general relativity. A way to effectively characterize the quantum nature of spacetime is through a momentum dependent space-time metric. There is a vast literature showing that this geometry is related to deformed r...

Classical black holes shield us from the singularities that inevitably appear in general relativity. Singularity regularization being one of the main landmarks for a successful theory of quantum gravity, quantum black holes are not obliged to hide their inner core from the outside world. Notwithstanding the aforesaid, it is often implicitly assumed...

In the literature, there are several papers establishing a correspondence between a deformed kinematics and a nontrivial (momentum dependent) metric. In this work, we study in detail the relationship between the trajectories given by a deformed Hamiltonian and the geodesic motion obtained from a geometry in the cotangent bundle, finding that both t...

The Raychaudhuri equations for the expansion, shear and vorticity are generalized in a spacetime with torsion for timelike as well as null congruences. These equations are purely geometrical like the original Raychuadhuri equations and could be reduced to them when there is no torsion. Using the Einstein-Cartan-Sciama-Kibble field equations the eff...

Given the recent development of rotating black-bounce-Kerr spacetimes, for both theoretical and observational purposes it becomes interesting to see whether it might be possible to construct black-bounce variants of the entire Kerr-Newman family. Specifically, herein we shall consider black-bounce-Reissner-Nordström and black-bounce-Kerr-Newman spa...

The possibility that rotating black holes could be natural particle accelerators has been subject of intense debate. While it appears that for extremal Kerr black holes arbitrarily high center of mass energies could be achieved, several works pointed out that both theoretical as well as astrophysical arguments would severely dampen the attainable e...

Classical black holes shield us from the singularities that inevitably appear in general relativity. Being singularity regularization one of the main landmarks for a successful theory of quantum gravity, quantum black holes are not obliged to hide their inner core from the outside world. Notwithstanding the aforesaid, it is often implicitly assumed...

Hořava gravity breaks Lorentz symmetry by introducing a dynamical timelike scalar field (the khronon), which can be used as a preferred time coordinate (thus selecting a preferred space–time foliation). Adopting the khronon as the time coordinate, the theory is invariant only under time reparametrizations and spatial diffeomorphisms. In the infrare...

Ongoing observations in the strong-field regime are in optimal agreement with general relativity, although current errors still leave room for small deviations from Einstein's theory. Here we summarise our recent results on superradiance of scalar and electromagnetic test fields in Kerr-like spacetimes, focusing mainly on the Konoplya--Zhidenko met...

Recent strong-field regime tests of gravity are so far in agreement with general relativity. In particular, astrophysical black holes appear all to be consistent with the Kerr spacetime, but the statistical error on current observations allows for small yet detectable deviations from this description. Here we study superradiance of scalar and elect...

A bstract
Regular black holes with nonsingular cores have been considered in several approaches to quantum gravity, and as agnostic frameworks to address the singularity problem and Hawking’s information paradox. While in a recent work we argued that the inner core is destabilized by linear perturbations, opposite claims were raised that regular bl...

The recent opening of gravitational wave astronomy has shifted the debate about black hole mimickers from a purely theoretical arena to a phenomenological one. In this respect, missing a definitive quantum gravity theory, the possibility to have simple, meta-geometries describing in a compact way alternative phenomenologically viable scenarios is p...

Given the recent development of rotating black-bounce-Kerr spacetimes, for both theoretical and observational purposes it becomes interesting to see whether it might be possible to construct black-bounce variants of the entire Kerr-Newman family. Specifically, herein we shall consider black-bounce-Reissner-Nordstr\"om and black-bounce-Kerr-Newman s...

A bstract
The persistence of a suitable notion of black hole thermodynamics in Lorentz breaking theories of gravity is not only a non-trivial consistency test for such theories, it is also an interesting investigation per se , as it might help us identifying the crucial features at the root of these surprising laws governing such purely gravitation...

The interest in the implications that astrophysical observations have for the understanding of the structure of black holes has grown since the first detection of gravitational waves. Many arguments that are put forward in order to constrain alternative black hole models rely on substantial assumptions such as perfect spherical symmetry, which impl...

DOI:https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.103.069901

We investigate self-gravitating equilibria of halos constituted by dark matter (DM) non-minimally coupled to gravity. In particular, we consider a theoretically motivated non-minimal coupling that may arise when the averaging/coherence length L associated with the fluid description of the DM collective behavior is comparable to the local curvature...

We investigate self-gravitating equilibria of halos constituted by dark matter (DM) non-minimally coupled to gravity. In particular, we consider a theoretically motivated non-minimal coupling which may arise when the averaging/coherence length $L$ associated to the fluid description of the DM collective behavior is comparable to the local curvature...

Recent strong-field regime tests of gravity are so far in agreement with general relativity. In particular, astrophysical black holes appear all to be consistent with the Kerr spacetime, but the statistical error on current observations allows for small yet detectable deviations from this description. Here we study superradiance of scalar and elect...

The recent opening of gravitational wave astronomy has shifted the debate about black hole mimickers from a purely theoretical arena to a phenomenological one. In this respect, missing a definitive quantum gravity theory, the possibility to have simple, meta-geometries describing in a compact way alternative phenomenologically viable scenarios is p...

We discuss the generalization of the Ori model to black holes with generic inner horizons (with arbitrary location and surface gravity), analyzing the behavior of the metric around these inner horizons under the influence of both a decaying ingoing flux of energy satisfying Price's law and an outgoing flux described by a null shell. We show that th...

It has been observed that for black holes in certain family of Horndeski gravity theories Wald's entropy formula does not lead to the correct first law for black hole thermodynamics. For this family of Horndeski theories speeds of propagation of gravitons and photons are in general different and gravitons move on an effective metric different than...

Horava gravity breaks Lorentz symmetry by introducing a dynamical timelike scalar field (the khronon), which can be used as a preferred time coordinate (thus selecting a preferred space-time foliation). Adopting the khronon as the time coordinate, the theory is invariant only under time reparametrizations and spatial diffeomorphisms. In the infrare...

The persistence of a suitable notion of black hole thermodynamics in Lorentz breaking theories of gravity is not only a non-trivial consistency test for such theories, it is also an interesting investigation per se, as it might help us identifying the crucial features at the root of these surprising laws governing such purely gravitational objects....

We study the back-reaction associated with Hawking evaporation of an acoustic canonical analogue black hole in a Bose–Einstein condensate. We show that the emission of Hawking radiation induces a local back-reaction on the condensate, perturbing it in the near-horizon region, and a global back-reaction in the density distribution of the atoms. We d...

A bstract
We investigate the causal hierarchy in various modified theories of gravity. In general relativity the standard causal hierarchy, (key elements of which are chronology, causality, strong causality, stable causality, and global hyperbolicity), is well-established. In modified theories of gravity there is typically considerable extra struct...

There are several studies proposing phenomenological consequences of a deformation of special and general relativity. Here, we cast novel constraints on the deformation parameter of a metric in the cotangent bundle accounting for a curved momentum space. In an expanding universe, we study three possible observations that could restrict our model, f...

In the literature, there are several papers establishing a correspondence between a deformed kinematics and a nontrivial (momentum dependent) metric. In this work, we study in detail the relationship between the trajectories given by a deformed Hamiltonian and the geodesic motion obtained from a geometry in the cotangent bundle, finding that both t...

We study the back-reaction associated with Hawking evaporation of an acoustic canonical analogue black hole in a Bose-Einstein condensate. We show that the emission of Hawking radiation induces a local back-reaction on the condensate, perturbing it in the near-horizon region, and a global back-reaction in the density distribution of the atoms. We d...

In this paper, which is of programmatic rather than quantitative nature, we aim to further delineate and sharpen the future potential of the LISA mission in the area of fundamental physics. Given the very broad range of topics that might be relevant to LISA, we present here a sample of what we view as particularly promising directions, based in par...

There are several studies proposing phenomenological consequences of a deformation of special and general relativity. Here, we cast novel constraints on the deformation parameter of a metric in the cotangent bundle accounting for a curved momentum space. In an expanding universe, we study three possible observations that could restrict our model, f...

We present a geometric classification of all spherically symmetric spacetimes that could result from singularity regularization, using a kinematic construction that is both exhaustive and oblivious to the dynamics of the fields involved. Due to the minimal geometric assumptions underlying it, this classification encompasses virtually all modified g...

It has been observed that for black holes in certain family of Horndeski gravity theories Wald's entropy formula does not lead to the correct first law for black hole thermodynamics. For this family of Horndeski theories speeds of propagation of gravitons and photons are in general different and gravitons move on an effective metric different than...

We investigate the causal hierarchy in various modified theories of gravity. In general relativity the standard causal hierarchy, (key elements of which are chronology, causality, strong causality, stable causality, and global hyperbolicity), is well-established. In modified theories of gravity there is typically considerable extra structure, (such...

The interest in the implications that astrophysical observations have for the understanding of the structure of black holes has grown since the first detection of gravitational waves. Many arguments that are put forward in order to constraint alternative black hole models rely on substantial assumptions such as perfect spherical symmetry, which imp...

The 1965 Penrose singularity theorem demonstrates the utterly inevitable and unavoidable formation of spacetime singularities under physically reasonable assumptions, and it remains one of the main results in our understanding of black holes. It is standard lore that quantum gravitational effects will always tame these singularities in black hole i...

A deformed relativistic kinematics can be understood within a geometrical framework through a maximally symmetric momentum space. However, when considering this kind of approach, usually one works in a flat spacetime and in a curved momentum space. In this paper, we will discuss a possible generalization to take into account both curvatures and som...

A deformed relativistic kinematics can be understood within a geometrical framework through a maximally symmetric momentum space. However, when considering this kind of approach, usually one works in a flat spacetime and in a curved momentum space. In this paper, we will discuss a possible generalization to take into account both curvatures and som...

We provide an updated assessment of the fundamental physics potential of LISA. Given the very broad range of topics that might be relevant to LISA, we present here a sample of what we view as particularly promising directions, based in part on the current research interests of the LISA scientific community in the area of fundamental physics. We org...

The 1965 Penrose singularity theorem demonstrates the utterly inevitable and unavoidable formation of spacetime singularities under physically reasonable assumptions, and it remains one of the main results in our understanding of black holes. It is standard lore that quantum gravitational effects will always tame these singularities in black hole i...

Analogue gravity can be used to reproduce the phenomenology of quantum field theory in curved spacetime and in particular phenomena such as cosmological particle creation and Hawking radiation. In black hole physics, taking into account the backreaction of such effects on the metric requires an extension to semiclassical gravity and leads to an app...