Abelian Higgs cosmic strings: Small-scale structure and loops

Hindmarsh, Mark, Stuckey, Stephanie and Bevis, Neil (2009) Abelian Higgs cosmic strings: Small-scale structure and loops. Physical Review D, 79 (12). ISSN 1550-7998

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Abstract

Classical lattice simulations of the Abelian Higgs model are used to investigate small-scale structure and loop distributions in cosmic string networks. Use of the field theory ensures that the small-scale physics is captured correctly. The results confirm analytic predictions of Polchinski and Rocha [29] for the two-point correlation function of the string tangent vector, with a power law from length scales of order the string core width up to horizon scale. An analysis of the size distribution of string loops gives a very low number density, of order 1 per horizon volume, in contrast with Nambu-Goto simulations. Further, our loop distribution function does not support the detailed analytic predictions for loop production derived by Dubath et al. [30]. Better agreement to our data is found with a model based on loop fragmentation [32], coupled with a constant rate of energy loss into massive radiation. Our results show a strong energy-loss mechanism, which allows the string network to scale without gravitational radiation, but which is not due to the production of string width loops. From evidence of small-scale structure we argue a partial explanation for the scale separation problem of how energy in the very low frequency modes of the string network is transformed into the very high frequency modes of gauge and Higgs radiation. We propose a picture of string network evolution, which reconciles the apparent differences between Nambu-Goto and field theory simulations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Article Number: 123504
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: Mark Hindmarsh
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:31
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 05:56
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/21069

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