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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

Abstract
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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