Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Cosmic strings in Astronomy

The October issue of the Astronomy magazine is out and you can buy it for 7 USD; I just borrowed Nima's copy. If you wonder why the October issue appears in early September, recall that the Great October Revolution took place in November, and these two problems actually cancel.

On pages 46-51, Steve Nadis from Cambridge, Massachusetts offers something that seems as the most detailed semi-popular account of cosmic strings and cosmic superstrings that I've seen so far. The text explains some history - for example why cosmic strings became unpopular 20 years ago.

Nadis explains all important details of the CSL-1 string lensing candidate of Sazhin et al. as well as the oscillating double quasar by Schild of Harvard et al. Henry Tye also promotes the possibility that a sharp discontinuity of the temperature may be seen in the CMB. Polchinski argues that if this particular case is confirmed, the number of known cosmic string lensing examples could jump to 1,000 within 10 years. He also offers a catchy slogan that the cosmic strings would allow us to look at energies that are a trillion times higher than what we can reach with the particle accelerators.

Other people including Dvali illuminate some more technical questions how these strings are produced at the end of inflation in various types of models. The transition from the old-fashioned cosmic strings of Kibble and Vilenkin to cosmic superstrings is explained. Figures also show how strings may rearrange, and a snapshot of a simulated realistic string network. Only a very small demo of the article is available online.

1 comment:

  1. It's good to see the continued history of this issue being defined.

    Thanks Lubos

    p.s. Have you notice drop using these kinds of comment usage because of filter?