What are black holes and branes good for?

Present-day high-energy physics has led us to exotic theories in higher dimensions, involving strings, branes, and a menagerie of singular "black" objects such as black holes (BHs), black toruses or black cigars. In this talk, I will discuss branes and black holes in higher dimensions at an elementary level, aimed at a non-specialist audience. I will start with a general overview of some of the most important concepts in the subject. After some motivation on why they are interesting, I will present some applications in which these concepts have recently proved to be useful, involving a simple model of a static, spherically symmetric brane-BH system.

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