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Cosmic superstrings: observable relics of brane inflation

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Cosmic strings are a generic by-product of string theory models of the inflationary epoch. These new cosmic "superstrings," as they are called, are distinct from the grand unified strings once thought to generate large scale structure. I will discuss what limits the WMAP and SDSS data have already placed on the properties of networks of cosmic strings, as well as avenues for their direct detection. I will also introduce cosmic superstrings' distinctive properties: they can bind into a possibly infinite number of higher-tension states, leading to the possibility of network frustration and for a high- string-tension UV-catastrophe. An analytical model constructed by myself and others has shown that superstring networks can evade these catastrophes under certain assumptions for the dynamics of string binding. I will describe ongoing work to verify numerically these binding dynamics. Finally, I will characterize several observational signatures that I and collaborators have identified that could allow us to discriminate between cosmic superstrings and other kinds of cosmic strings.