This series consists of talks in the areas of Cosmology, Gravitation and Particle Physics.
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.
We study the generation of cosmological perturbations during the Hagedorn phase of string gas cosmology. Using tools of string thermodynamics we provide indications that it may be possible to obtain a nearly scale-invariant spectrum of cosmological fluctuations on scales which are of cosmological interest today. In our cosmological scenario, the early Hagedorn phase of string gas cosmology goes over smoothly into the radiation-dominated phase of standard cosmology, without having a period of cosmological inflation.
A definite prediction of string theory is the existence of a scalar field, the dilaton. The presence of the dilaton generally leads to strong violations of the equivalence principle and thus describe a kind of gravitational force radically different from what we experience. String loop corrections, however, may render phenomenologically acceptable the region of the theory characterized by large values of the dilaton field i.e. the region with a strong tree level-coupling.
The theory of cosmological perturbations provides a bridge between theoretical models of the early universe (often motivated by string theory) and astrophysical observation, e.g of the CMBR. Since extra dimensions are pivotal to string theory, the known lore of perturbation theory needs to be adjusted accordingly. After introducing the needed formalism, I will illustrate its use on an example within the framework of String Gas Cosmology
Highest energy cosmic rays reach {\it macroscopic} energies $> 10^{20}$ eV ($\sim 10$ joules; corresponding linear momentum in one proton is similar to a slapshot hockey puck's). Such protons can either be accelerated by nearby astrophysical sources or be by-products of decay of unknown superheavy fundamental particles. After reviewing phenomenology of cosmic rays, I will discuss a novel {\it non-stochastic} acceleration mechanism in jets of powerful active galactic nuclei. The mystery of ultra high energy cosmic rays is likely soon to be resolved by Pierre Auger observatory.
We show that the entropy resulting from the counting of microstates of non extremal black holes using field theory duals of string theories can be interpreted as arising from entanglement. The conditions for making such an interpretation consistent are discussed. First, we interpret the entropy (and thermodynamics) of spacetimes with non degenerate, bifurcating Killing horizons as arising from entanglement. We use a path integral method to define the Hartle-Hawking vacuum state in such spacetimes and discuss explicitly its entangled nature and its relation to the geometry.
TBA
tba