Cosmic String Evolution in Higher Dimensions

Research paper by A. Avgoustidis, E. P. S. Shellard

Indexed on: 06 Apr '05Published on: 06 Apr '05Published in: High Energy Physics - Phenomenology


We obtain the equations of motion for cosmic strings in extensions of the 3+1 FRW model with extra dimensions. From these we derive a generalisation of the Velocity-dependent One-Scale (VOS) model for cosmic string network evolution which we apply, first, to a higher-dimensional isotropic $D+1$ FRW model and, second, to a 3+1 FRW model with static flat extra dimensions. In the former case the string network does not achieve a scaling regime because of the diminishing rate of string intersections ($D>3$), but this can be avoided in the latter case by considering compact, small extra dimensions, for which there is a reduced but still appreciable string intercommuting probability. We note that the velocity components lying in the three expanding dimensions are Hubble-damped, whereas those in the static extra dimensions are only very weakly damped. This leads to the pathological possibility, in principle, that string motion in the three infinite dimensions can come to a halt preventing the strings from intersecting, with the result that scaling is not achieved and the strings irreversibly dominate the early universe. We note criteria by which this can be avoided, notably if the spatial structure of the network becomes essentially three-dimensional, as is expected for string networks produced in brane inflation. Applying our model to a brane inflation setting, we find scaling solutions in which the effective 3D string motion does not necessarily stop, but it is slowed down because of the excitations trapped in the extra dimensions. These effects are likely to influence cosmic string network evolution for a long period after formation and we discuss their more general implications.