Cosmic strings are generic cosmological predictions of many extensions of the Standard Model
of particle physics, such as a U(1)′ symmetry breaking phase transition in the early universe.
Unlike other topological defects, cosmic strings can reach a scaling
regime that maintains a small fixed fraction of the total energy density of the universe from a
very early epoch until today. If present, they will oscillate and generate gravitational waves with a
frequency spectrum that imprints the dominant sources of total cosmic energy density throughout
the history of the universe. We demonstrate that current and future gravitational wave detectors,
such as LIGO and LISA, could be capable of measuring the frequency spectrum of gravitational
waves from cosmic strings and discerning the energy composition of the universe at times well
before primordial nucleosynthesis and the cosmic microwave background where standard cosmology
has yet to be tested.
|Parallel Session||Cosmology and Gravitational Waves|