Probing the scale of grand unification with gravitational waves
Cosmic strings arise as remnants of phase transitions in the early Universe, often related to theories of grand unification (GUTs). If such a phase transitions occurs at high energies, the resulting cosmic string network generates a sizable amount of gravitational waves. Most work so far has focused on the gravitational wave signal from topologically stable cosmic strings. In this talk I will introduce metastable cosmic strings, which are a generic consequence of many GUTs. I will discuss how this idea can be probed in various ongoing and upcoming gravitational wave experiments, from pulsar timing arrays to space- and ground-based interferometers. In the final part of my talk I will discuss a recent proposal on using the radio telescopes to probe this and other sources of ultra high frequency gravitational waves.