String Evolution with Friction

Research paper by C. J. A. P. Martins, E. P. S. Shellard

Indexed on: 18 Jul '95Published on: 18 Jul '95Published in: High Energy Physics - Phenomenology


We study the effects of friction on the scaling evolution of string networks in condensed matter and cosmological contexts. We derive a generalized `one-scale' model with the string correlation length $L$ and velocity $v$ as dynamical variables. In non-relativistic systems, we obtain a well-known $L\propto t^{1/2}$ law, showing that loop production is important. For electroweak cosmic strings, we show transient damped epoch scaling with $L\propto t^{5/4}$ (or, in the matter era, $L\propto t^{3/2}$). A low initial density implies an earlier period with $L\propto t^{1/2}$. For GUT strings, the approach to linear scaling $L\propto t$ is faster than previously estimated.