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Microlensing by cosmic strings

Kuijken, Konrad and Siemens, Xavier and Vachaspati, Tanmay (2008) Microlensing by cosmic strings. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 384 (1). pp. 161-164. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.12663.x.

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We consider the signature and detectability of gravitational microlensing of distant quasars by cosmic strings. Because of the simple image configuration such events will have a characteristic lightcurve, in which a source would appear to brighten by exactly a factor of 2, before reverting to its original apparent brightness. We calculate the optical depth and event rate, and conclude that current predictions and limits on the total length of strings on the sky imply optical depths of ≾10^(-8) and event rates of fewer than one event per 10^(9) sources per year. Disregarding those predictions but replacing them with limits on the density of cosmic strings from the cosmic microwave background fluctuation spectrum, leaves only a small region of parameter space (in which the sky contains about 3 x 10^(5) strings with deficit angle of the order of 0.3 milli-seconds) for which a microlensing survey of exposure 10^(7) source years, spanning a 20-40-year period, might reveal the presence of cosmic strings.

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Additional Information:© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 RAS. Accepted 2007 November 1. Received 2007 November 1; in original form 2007 July 19. Published Online: 7 January 2008. We thank Ana Achucarro, Tom Kibble, Irit Maor, Huub Rottgering, Ignas Snellen and Daniel Wesley for discussions. TV thanks the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) for a visitor’s grant, and the Lorentz Institute of Leiden University and the ICTP in Trieste for hospitality; his work was supported by the US Department of Energy and NASA at Case Western Reserve University. The work of XS was supported in part by NSF Grant PHY-0601459. LIGO was constructed by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology with funding from the National Science Foundation and operates under cooperative agreement PHY-0107417.
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Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)UNSPECIFIED
Department of EnergyUNSPECIFIED
National Science FoundationPHY-0601459
National Science FoundationPHY-0107417
Subject Keywords:gravitational lensing; cosmology: miscellaneous
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:KUImnras08
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:12571
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:15 Jan 2009 21:21
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:29

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