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Cosmology from Topological Defects

Author: Alejandro Gangui
Url: http://babbage.sissa.it/abs/astro-ph/0303504
Format: Ps
Category: Cosmology
Clicks: 2777

The potential role of cosmic topological defects has raised interest in the astrophysical community for many years now. In this set of notes, we give an introduction to the subject of cosmic topological defects and some of their possible observable signatures. We begin with a review of the basics of general defect formation and evolution, we briefly comment on some general features of conducting cosmic strings and vorton formation, as well as on the possible role of defects as dark energy, to end up with cosmic structure formation from defects and some specific imprints in the cosmic microwave background radiation from simulated cosmic strings. A detailed, pedagogical explanation of the mechanism underlying the tiny level of polarization discovered in the cosmic microwave background by the DASI collaboration (and recently confirmed by WMAP) is also given, and a first rough comparison with some predictions from defects is provided.

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