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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

Evolution of Abelian-Higgs string networks

J. N. Moore, E. P. S. Shellard, C. J. A. P. Martins

We study the evolution of Abelian-Higgs string networks in large-scale numerical simulations in both a static and expanding background. We measure the properties of the network by tracing the motion of the string cores, for the first time estimating the rms velocity of the strings and the invariant string length, that is, the true network energy density. These results are compared with a velocity-dependent one scale model for cosmic string network evolution. This incorporates the contributions of loop production, massive radiation and friction to the energy loss processes that are required for scaling evolution. We use this analysis as a basis for discussing the relative importance of these mechanisms for the evolution of the network. We find that the loop distribution statistics in the simulations are consistent with the long-time scaling of the network being dominated by loop production. Making justifiable extrapolations to cosmological scales, these results appear to be consistent with the standard picture of local string network evolution in which loop production and gravitational radiation are the dominant decay mechanisms.

Physical Review D
Volume 65, Page 023503
January 2002

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Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) is a new but long anticipated research infrastructure with a national dimension. It embodies a bold but feasible vision for the development of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal, taking full advantage and fully realizing the potential created by the national membership of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). IA resulted from the merging the two most prominent research units in the field in Portugal: the Centre for Astrophysics of the University of Porto (CAUP) and the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Lisbon (CAAUL). It currently hosts more than two-thirds of all active researchers working in Space Sciences in Portugal, and is responsible for an even greater fraction of the national productivity in international ISI journals in the area of Space Sciences. This is the scientific area with the highest relative impact factor (1.65 times above the international average) and the field with the highest average number of citations per article for Portugal.

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