Formation of topological defects

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35 Scopus citations


We consider the formation of point and line topological defects (monopoles and strings) from a general point of view by allowing the probability of formation of a defect to vary. To investigate the statistical properties of the defects at formation we give qualitative arguments that are independent of any particular model in which such defects occur. These arguments are substantiated by numerical results in the case of strings and for monopoles in two dimensions. We find that the network of strings at formation undergoes a transition at a certain critical density below which there are no infinite strings and the closed-string (loop) distribution is exponentially suppressed at large lengths. The results are contrasted with the results of statistical arguments applied to a box of strings in dynamical equilibrium. We argue that if point defects were to form with smaller probability, the distance between monopoles and antimonopoles would decrease while the monopole-to-monopole distance would increase. We find that monopoles are always paired with antimonopoles but the pairing becomes clean only when the number density of defects is small. A similar reasoning would also apply to other defects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3723-3729
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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