Quasar Alignment to Cosmic Strings

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A very interesting but speculative paper was published in the Physical Review and arXiv recently about the possibility of the former existence of Cosmic Strings at the point of Electroweak energies.
Robert Poltis and Dejan Stojkovic
http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v105/i16/e161301
http://arxiv.org/abs/1004.2704
HEPCOS, Department of Physics, SUNY at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14260-1500, USA
Received 26 April 2010; revised 8 July 2010; published 11 October 2010
Abstract:
The decay of nontopological electroweak strings may leave an observable imprint in the Universe today in the form of primordial magnetic fields. Protogalaxies preferentially tend to form with their axis of rotation parallel to an external magnetic field, and, moreover, an external magnetic field produces torque which tends to align the galaxy axis with the magnetic field. We demonstrate that the shape of a magnetic field left over from two looped electroweak strings can explain the observed nontrivial alignment of quasar polarization vectors and make predictions for future observations.
 

Answers and Replies

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Ha I had Dr. Stojkovic for quantum mechanics last year! Cool.
 
  • #3
"observed nontrivial alignment of quasar polarization vectors and make predictions for future observations."


Is there really a cluster of 355 quasars forming loopy loops like the Physorg article's artist drawn picture http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-10-universe-physicists-fingerprints-cosmic.html or is that a loose interpretation?


.

I didn't know there were unexplained patterns of quasars out there. So could someone point me in the direction of that first?


How come I never heard about it!?!
 
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  • #4
Chronos
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I sympathize with Dr. Vachaspati in the link provided by Thomas Edison. It is unclear how cosmic strings could have persistent effects over such a long time. Current models suggest it took hundreds of millions of years for the first quasars to form.
 
  • #5
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Yea, that's why it's highly-speculative, although it is possible that that their magnetic field was existent when quasars formed.
 
  • #6
"I don't see them staying around until today to provide observational signals," Vachaspati said.


Well that's just it. Those quasars we see are not here today. I'm sure Vachaspati is aware of that.. but it was not made clear in the article how far back in time those quasar patterns are.
When you peer into space examining quasars you are not looking at today. The question is how far back/out? Was that mentioned? I suppose even if they are 7 billion light years out/back in time(once comoving distance is taken into account) then that is still a long way from the cosmic strings epoch which was far closer to the big bang.
But maybe these 355 quasars are very far away and far back in time?

Wiki-ing Cosmic strings tells me that both quantum field theory and string theory predict them.

I mention that because in "Elegant Universe" Brian Greene said that proof of a cosmic string is proof of string theory; evidence of string theory would be monumental. That is the main reason I find this intriguing (but I remain skeptical because it would be huge news.)
Edit: on second thought perhaps the ones Brian Greene mentioned were cosmic super-strings which is a different beast than cosmic strings?


Still though my original question remains. Was there really a strange pattern of quasars that astrophysicists have been hard pressed to explain?
 
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