Analytic Methods for Astrophysical Defect Fingerprinting


  • Call:

    IDPASC Portugal - PHD Programme 2017

  • Academic Year:

    2017 / 2018

  • Domains:

    Cosmology | Astroparticle Physics

  • Supervisor:

    Carlos Martins

  • Co-Supervisor:

  • Institution:

    Universidade do Porto

  • Host Institution:


  • Abstract:

    Cosmic strings arise naturally in many proposed theories of new physics beyond the standard model unifying the electroweak and strong interactions, as well as in many superstring inspired inflation models. In the latter case, fundamental superstrings produced in the very early universe may have stretched to macroscopic scales, in which case they are known as cosmic superstrings. If observed, these objects thus provide a unique window into the early universe and possibly string theory. Recent progress in CMB polarization and gravitational wave detection shows how some of these scenarios can be constrained by high-resolution data. However, to fully exploit the potential of ESA facilities such as CORE and LISA, one needs matching progress both in high-resolution HPC numerical simulations of defect networks and in the analytic modelling of key physical mechanisms underlying their evolution. This thesis will address the latter, using a series of mathematical and statistical techniques to develop more accurate analytic models for general defect evolution (building upon the successes of the current canonical VOS model) as well as for their astrophysical fingerprints, which is able to match the sensitivity of ongoing and future observational searches. For informal queries or clarifications, prospective candidates are encouraged to contact