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Theory of Cosmic Strings

Theory of Cosmic Strings

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Published by Manuel F. Presnilla
The existence of cosmic string was first proposed in 1976 by Tom Kibble, who drew on the theory of line vortices in superconductor to predict the formation of similar structures in the Universe at large as it expanded and cooled during the early phases of the Big Bang.
The existence of cosmic string was first proposed in 1976 by Tom Kibble, who drew on the theory of line vortices in superconductor to predict the formation of similar structures in the Universe at large as it expanded and cooled during the early phases of the Big Bang.

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Published by: Manuel F. Presnilla on Oct 02, 2009
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10/20/2011

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The metric (7.28) due to an infinite straight cosmic string is clearly not
asymptotically flat, as the defect on the world sheet extends to spacelike infinity
along the axis r = 0. (For future reference, a spacetime which at spacelike
infinity has the same global geometry as (7.28) does at spacelike infinity will be
said to be asymptotically flat∗.) However, Jiri Biˇc´ak has constructed a coordinate
transformation, singular on the world sheet, which reduces the line element to
that of an asymptotically-flat spacetime with axial symmetry [Bi90]. The result
may be little morethan a mathematicalcuriosity,but it does providean alternative
insight into the geometry of the bare straight-string metric.
The line element describing a general asymptotically-flat vacuum spacetime
with axial symmetry can be written in the form:

ds2

= guu du2

+2guρ du dρ+2guθ du dθ −ρ2

(e2α

dθ2

+e−2α

sin2

θ dφ2

)

(7.103)
where u is a retarded time coordinate, θ and φ are polar angles along outgoing
null geodesics, and ρ is the luminosity distance [BvdBM62].
The constraint of asymptotic flatness requires that the various metric
functions appearing in (7.103) fall off appropriately for large values of ρ and,
in particular, that

guu =1−2Mρ−1

+O(ρ−2

)

(7.104)

and

α =cρ−1

+O(ρ−2

).

(7.105)

Here, the functions M(u,θ) and c(u,θ) are the ‘mass’ and ‘news function’ of the
metric,respectively. Theasymptoticexpansionsfortheothertwometricfunctions
can be found by imposing the vacuum Einstein equations, which according to
[BvdBM62] give

guρ =1− 1

2c2

ρ−2

+O(ρ−3

)

(7.106)

and

guθ =c,θ+2ccotθ +O(ρ−1

).

(7.107)

268

The gravitational field of an infinite straight string

The straight-string metric (7.28) can be rewritten in the axisymmetric form
(7.103) by first replacing (t,r,z) with an interim set of coordinates (U, R,θ)
defined via the equations

r = R sinθ z = R cosθ and t =U + R.

(7.108)

The line element then becomes:

ds2

=dU2

+2dU dR− R2

dθ2

−(1−4µ)2

R2

sin2

θ dφ2

. (7.109)

Note that, because of the presence of the multiplier 1−4µ, this expression is still
asymptotically flat∗ rather than strictly asymptotically flat.
To reduce (7.109) to the asymptotically-flat form (7.103) requires a rather
complicated transformation of coordinates which is only known in its asymptotic
form. The general structure of the transformation is:

U =uw(η,θ) R =ρx(η,θ) and θ = y(η,θ) (7.110)

where η =u/ρ.

If the constraints gρρ = gρθ = 0 are imposed, the expressions for guu, guρ
and guθ quickly reduce to

guu =w2

+2ηww,η+2wx,η+2xw,η

(7.111)

guρ = −η2

ww,η+wx −ηwx,η−ηxw,η

(7.112)

and

guθ =ρ(ηww,θ +wx,θ+xw,θ )

(7.113)

or, in terms of the potential ≡w2

+2η−1

wx,

guu =(η ),η guρ =−1

2η2

,η and guθ = 1

2u ,θ . (7.114)

The functions M(u,θ) and c(u,θ) can now be calculated by assuming an
asymptotic expansion for of the form

= A(θ)η−1

+ B(θ)+C(θ)η+O(η2

)

(7.115)

and comparing the expansions of (7.114) with (7.104)–(7.107). The result is

A(θ)=2 B(θ)=1 and C(θ)=−M/u =c2

/u2

(7.116)

where

c,θ+2ccotθ = 1

2B,θ u ≡0.

(7.117)

Hence,

c(u,θ)= Ku cosec2

θ

(7.118)

and

M(u,θ)=−K2

u cosec4

θ

(7.119)

The straight-string metric in ‘asymptotically-flat’ form

269

where K is a constant of integration.
A particular value for K is fixed by the requirement that

(1−4µ)2

x2

sin2

y =sin2

θ +O(η)

(7.120)

as then gφφ ≈ −ρ2

for large values of ρ, and the transformed line element is
strictly asymptotically flat. However, in order to solve for K it is necessary to
concurrently solve the constraint equations gρρ =0 and gρθ =0 to leading order
in η.

Explicitly, the constraint equations read:

x2

(y,η )2

+2xw,η−2ηw,η x,η−η2

(w,η )2

=0

(7.121)

and

xw,θ+x2

y,η y,θ−ηx,η w,θ −ηw,η x,θ−η2

w,η w,θ =0

(7.122)

respectively. If w, x and y are expanded to linear order in η then the solution
which simultaneously satisfies (7.120), (7.121) and (7.122) has the limiting form

w =ψ − (ψ )2

2ψ η+O(η2

)

(7.123)

x =(ψ )−1

+ 1

2ψ {(ψ /ψ )2

−(ψ )2

+1}η+O(η2

) (7.124)

and

y =ψ −ψ η+O(η2

)

(7.125)

where

ψ(θ)=2tan−1

(|tanθ/2|1−4µ

).

(7.126)

At this point, the simplest way to calculate K is to substitute these formulae
into the equation for gθθ, which reads:

x2

(y,θ )2

−2ηw,θ x,θ−η2

(w,θ )2

≈e2cρ−1

=1+2ηK cosec2

θ +O(η2

).

(7.127)

Then

K = sin2

θ

2(ψ )2[(ψ )2

+3(ψ )2

−(ψ )4

−2ψ ψ ]≡−4µ(1−2µ). (7.128)

and the news and mass functions for the bare straight-string metric are

c(u,θ)=−4µ(1−2µ)u cosec2

θ

(7.129)

and

M(u,θ)=−16µ2

(1−2µ)2

u cosec4

θ.

(7.130)

270

The gravitational field of an infinite straight string

Note that, even to leading order in η, the coordinate transformation from

(U,r,θ) to (u,ρ,θ) is singular on the axis, as ψ ∼ 2(θ/2)1−4µ

for small θ, and

so the Jacobian determinant of the transformation is

|J(U,r,θ;u,ρ,θ)|=ψ +(ψ )2

/ψ +O(η)

≈24µ

16µ2

(1−4µ)θ−2−4µ

. (7.131)

This is, of course, unavoidable, given that the mass and news functions (7.118)
and (7.119) are both singular on the axis.

Chapter 8

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