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Title: Ultrahigh-energy particles from cosmic strings

The idea of production of ultrahigh-energy particles in the present universe due to annihilation or collapse of topological defects is discussed. Topological defects, formed in symmetry-breaking phase transitions in the early universe, can survive till today owing to their topological stability. However, under certain circumstances, topological defects may be physically destroyed. When topological defects are destroyed, the energy contained in the defects can be released in the form of massive gauge- and Higgs bosons of the underlying spontaneously broken gauge theory. Subsequent decay of these massive particles can give rise to energetic particles ranging up to an energy on the order of the mass of the original particles released from the defects. This may give us a natural'' mechanism of production of extremely energetic cosmic ray particles in the universe today, without the need for any acceleration mechanism. To illustrate this idea, I describe in detail the calculation of the expected ultrahigh-energy proton spectrum due to a specific process which involves collapse or multiple self-intersections of a class of closed cosmic string loops formed in a phase transition at a grand unification energy scale. I discuss the possibility that some of the highest-energy cosmic ray particles are of this origin.more » By comparing with the observational results on the ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays, we derive an upper limit to the average fraction of the total energy in all primary'' cosmic string loops that may be released in the form of particles due to collapse or multiple self-intersections of these loops. No nuclei such as {alpha}'s or Fe's are in the spectrum. 43 refs., 3 figs.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. (Chicago Univ., IL (USA). Astronomy and Astrophysics Center Fermi National Accelerator Lab., Batavia, IL (USA))
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
6055449
Report Number(s):
FNAL/C-91/56-A; CONF-9011188--1
ON: DE91009670; CNN: 87-15412; NAGW-1340; TRN: 91-008732
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-76CH03000
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Institute for Cosmic Ray Research (ICRR) international symposium on astrophysical aspects of the most energetic cosmic rays, Kofu (Japan), 26-29 Nov 1990
Research Org:
Fermi National Accelerator Lab., Batavia, IL (USA)
Sponsoring Org:
DOE; NASA; NSF; USDOE, Washington, DC (USA); National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC (USA); National Science Foundation, Washington, DC (USA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; COSMIC RADIATION; STRING MODELS; ANNIHILATION; GRAND UNIFIED THEORY; HIGGS BOSONS; PARTICLE PRODUCTION; PHASE TRANSFORMATIONS; SYMMETRY BREAKING; TOPOLOGY; BASIC INTERACTIONS; COMPOSITE MODELS; ELECTROMAGNETIC INTERACTIONS; ELEMENTARY PARTICLES; EXTENDED PARTICLE MODEL; FIELD THEORIES; INTERACTIONS; IONIZING RADIATIONS; MATHEMATICAL MODELS; MATHEMATICS; PARTICLE MODELS; POSTULATED PARTICLES; QUARK MODEL; RADIATIONS; UNIFIED GAUGE MODELS; UNIFIED-FIELD THEORIES 640101* -- Astrophysics & Cosmology-- Cosmic Radiation; 640106 -- Astrophysics & Cosmology-- Cosmology