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Abstract: In these lectures, I review the current status of cosmic strings and cosmicsuperstrings. I first discuss topological defects in the context of GrandUnified Theories, focusing in particular in cosmic strings arising as gaugetheory solitons. I discuss the reconciliation between cosmic strings andcosmological inflation, I review cosmic string dynamics, cosmic stringthermodynamics and cosmic string gravity, which leads to a number ofinteresting observational signatures. I then proceed with the notion of cosmicsuperstrings arising at the end of brane inflation, within the context ofbrane-world cosmological models inspired from string theory. I discuss thedifferences between cosmic superstrings and their solitonic analogues, I reviewour current understanding about the evolution of cosmic superstring networks,and I then briefly describe the variety of observational consequences, whichmay help us to get an insight into the stringy description of our Universe.

Autor: Mairi Sakellariadou


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