Brane Inflation: From Superstring to Cosmic Strings

S.-H. Henry Tye
Laboratory for Elementary Particle Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

Brane inflation, where branes move towards each other in the brane world, has been shown to be quite natural in superstring theory. Inflation ends when branes collide and heat the universe, initiating the hot big bang. Cosmic strings (but not domain walls or monopoles) are copiously produced during the brane collision. Using the COBE data on the temperature anisotropy in the cosmic microwave background, the cosmic string tension µ is estimated to be around 10 –6 > Gµ > 10–11, while the present observational bound is 7 × 10 –7 > Gµ. This implies that the anisotropy that seeds structure formation comes mostly from inflation, but with a small component (< 10%) from cosmic string effects. This cosmic string effect should be testable in the near future via gravitational lensing, the cosmic microwave background radiation, and/or gravitational wave detectors like LIGO II/VIRGO. ©2004 American Institute of Physics

Cosmic Superstrings Revisited

Joseph Polchinski
Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4030

It is possible that superstrings, as well as other one-dimensional branes, could have been produced in the early universe and then expanded to cosmic size today. I discuss the conditions under which this will occur, and the signatures of these strings. Such cosmic superstrings could be the brightest objects visible in gravitational wave astronomy, and might be distinguishable from gauge theory cosmic strings by their network properties. ©2004 American Institute of Physics

Anthropic Reasoning and Quantum Cosmology

James B. Hartle
Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9530

Prediction in quantum cosmology requires a specification of the universe''s quantum dynamics and its quantum state. We expect only a few general features of the universe to be predicted with probabilities near unity conditioned on the dynamics and quantum state alone. Most useful predictions are of conditional probabilities that assume additional information beyond the dynamics and quantum state. Anthropic reasoning utilizes probabilities conditioned on `us''. This paper discusses the utility, limitations, and theoretical uncertainty involved in using such probabilities. The predictions resulting from various levels of ignorance of the quantum state are discussed including those related to uncertainty in the vacuum of string theory. Some obstacles to using anthropic reasoning to determine this vacuum are described. ©2004 American Institute of Physics

Brane Inflation &...

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