Welcome to my website! I am a relativistic astrophysicist, i.e., a physicist who uses Einstein’s theory of general relativity to describe and explain high-energy astronomical observations of black holes and neutron stars. To do this I combine analytical perturbative tools with numerical nonlinear simulations in which I solve the Einstein equations together with those of relativistic hydrodynamics or magnetohydrodynamics. I do this in the endless process of comparing theoretical results and predictions with astronomical observations.

I am the Chair of Theoretical (Relativistic) Astrophysics  at the Institute for Theoretical Physics (ITP) of the Goethe University of Frankfurt, Germany, Senior Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute of Advanced studies (FIAS) and The Andrews Professor of Astronomy at Trinity College Dublin.

luciano rezzolla on sailing boat
book of luciano rezzolla on relativistic hydrodynamics

Relativistic hydrodynamics is one of my main interests and an incredibly successful framework to describe the dynamics of matter from scales as small as those of colliding elementary particles, up to the largest scales in the universe. “Relativistic Hydrodynamics” is also the title of a book I have written with Olindo Zanotti for Oxford University Press. It containts a good part of what you may want to learn about relativistic hydrodynamics, from the mathematical foundations, to the numerical methods and the astrophysical applications. Reviews and more information can be found by clicking on the cover.

Starting from October 2014 a team composed by  Heino Falcke in Nijmegen,  Michael Kramer in Bonn, and myself has been awarded a Synergy Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). Our claimed goal was to obtain the first image of a supermassive black hole. 

These grants represent the most prestigious and substantial form of funding in Europe and for the first time they have been awarded for an astrophysics proposal. More information on BlackHoleCam can be found here. Together with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, this goal has been reached twice, with M87* (April 2019) and with Sgr A* (May 2022).

Starting from October 2021, my research will concentrate on the physics and astrophysics of relativistic jets thanks to an Advanced Grant from the ERC. More on the JETSET  project can be found here.


European Research CouncilM87*, EHTCSgr A*, EHTC

Explaining in simple terms what I do as a scientist is very important to me and a way to pay back the privilege of doing a job I am passionate about. At the end of 2020 I have published a public-outreach book in Italian, “L’irresistibile attrazione della gravità” (“The irresistible attraction of gravity”), which attempts to explain what is gravity and why we are so deeply attracted by it. The book is meant for a general audience and has appeared in in German as Die unwiderstehliche Anziehung der Schwerkraft” and will soon appear also in English