Cosmic 'whips' may be detected with gravitational waves

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London, July 6 (ANI): A new research has determined that cosmic 'whips', which are topological defects in space-time larger than the observable universe, can be detected with the help of gravitational waves.

Many theories predict the existence of cosmic strings.

They say that space-time should have universe-sized snags called 'cosmic strings' running across it, but none have yet been found.

That could be because they broke into a tangle of smaller strings and beads soon after the big bang, say scientists.

The imprint of their extremely high gravity was expected to be seen in the cosmic microwave background - the radiation left over from the big bang - or as gravitational lenses that bend distant light towards us.

But, no convincing evidence has been seen.

Ben Shlaer of Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, and colleagues, told New Scientist that the lack of evidence could be because the strings were unstable and split into smaller and smaller pieces soon after they formed.

The first strings could have been gigantic closed loops or extremely large fragments that terminated in "beads".

These beads would have been so-called monopoles - analogous to a magnet's north or south pole without its partner.

As the strings broke, the team's analysis shows that their split ends would have been capped off by more monopoles, eventually leading to a universe filled with fragmented strings with beads at their ends.

In an infant universe, these high-tension strings would have been whipping around, accelerating the massive beads to relativistic speeds.

These would have generated tight beams of gravitational waves, which could still be traveling through space-time.

"It's possible that if you wait long enough, one of those highly focused bursts would hit the Earth, and that would cause one of our gravitational wave detectors to chirp," said Shlaer.

The first cosmic strings were unstable and split into small pieces capped by monopoles.

Those detectors include the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory, which is currently being upgraded, and the upcoming Laser Interferometer Space Antenna.

"The possible frequency range of the waves is exceptionally large, "raising the hope of detection" of cosmic strings," said theoretical physicist Henry Tye at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. (ANI)

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