Self-Gravitating Strings In 2+1 Dimensions

Research paper by Shahar Ben-Menahem

Indexed on: 06 Oct '91Published on: 06 Oct '91Published in: High Energy Physics - Theory


We present a family of classical spacetimes in 2+1 dimensions. Such a spacetime is produced by a Nambu-Goto self-gravitating string. Due to the special properties of three-dimensional gravity, the metric is completely described as a Minkowski space with two identified worldsheets. In the flat limit, the standard string is recovered. The formalism is developed for an open string with massive endpoints, but applies to other boundary conditions as well. We consider another limit, where the string tension vanishes in geometrical units but the end-masses produce finite deficit angles. In this limit, our open string reduces to the free-masses solution of Gott, which possesses closed timelike curves when the relative motion of the two masses is sufficiently rapid. We discuss the possible causal structures of our spacetimes in other regimes. It is shown that the induced worldsheet Liouville mode obeys ({\it classically}) a differential equation, similar to the Liouville equation and reducing to it in the flat limit. A quadratic action formulation of this system is presented. The possibility and significance of quantizing the self-gravitating string, is discussed.