Indexed on: 21 Sep '99Published on: 21 Sep '99Published in: High Energy Physics - Phenomenology
We review a class of non-topological defects in the standard electroweak model, and their implications. Starting with the semilocal string, which provides a counterexample to many well known properties of topological vortices, we discuss electroweak strings and their stability with and without external influences such as magnetic fields. Other known properties of electroweak strings and monopoles are described in some detail and their potential relevance to future particle accelerator experiments and to baryon number violating processes is considered. We also review recent progress on the cosmology of electroweak defects and the connection with superfluid helium, where some of the effects discussed here could possibly be tested.