Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Blackfolds, Twistor Strings and Cosmic Strings

Today's (Wed. Feb 4th) new arxiv HEP papers included some noteworthy topics, such as black holes with novel horizon geometries, N=8 twistor supergravity and cosmic superstrings. The abstracts are as follows (feel free to comment):


We argue that the main feature behind novel properties of higher-dimensional black holes, compared to four-dimensional ones, is that their horizons can have two characteristic lengths of very different size. We develop a long-distance worldvolume effective theory that captures the black hole dynamics at scales much larger than the short scale. In this limit the black hole is regarded as a blackfold: a black brane (possibly boosted locally) whose worldvolume spans a curved submanifold of the spacetime. This approach reveals black objects with novel horizon geometries and topologies more complex than the black ring, but more generally it provides a new organizing framework for the dynamics of higher-dimensional black holes.

New Twistor String Theories Revisited

A gauged version of Berkovits twistor string theory featuring the particle content of N=8 supergravity was suggested by Abou-Zeid, Hull and Mason. The equations of motion for a particular multiplet in the modified theory are examined on the level of basic twistor fields and thereby shown to imply the vanishing of the negative helicity graviton on-shell. Additionally, the restrictions emerging from the equation of motion for the new gauge field \bar{B} reveal the chiral nature of interactions in theories constructed in this manner. Moreover, a particular amplitude in Berkovits open string theory is shown to be in agreement with the corresponding result in Einstein gravity.

Cosmic Strings and Cosmic Superstrings

In these lectures, I review the current status of cosmic strings and cosmic superstrings. I first discuss topological defects in the context of Grand Unified Theories, focusing in particular in cosmic strings arising as gauge theory solitons. I discuss the reconciliation between cosmic strings and cosmological inflation, I review cosmic string dynamics, cosmic string thermodynamics and cosmic string gravity, which leads to a number of interesting observational signatures. I then proceed with the notion of cosmic superstrings arising at the end of brane inflation, within the context of brane-world cosmological models inspired from string theory. I discuss the differences between cosmic superstrings and their solitonic analogues, I review our current understanding about the evolution of cosmic superstring networks, and I then briefly describe the variety of observational consequences, which may help us to get an insight into the stringy description of our Universe.

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