Has NANOGrav found first evidence for cosmic strings?

Simone Blasi, Vedran Brdar, Kai Schmitz

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100 Citations (Scopus)
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The North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves has recently reported strong evidence for a stochastic common-spectrum process affecting the pulsar timing residuals in its 12.5-year data set. We demonstrate that this process admits an interpretation in terms of a stochastic gravitational-wave background emitted by a cosmic-string network in the early Universe. We study stable Nambu-Goto strings in dependence of their tension Gμ and loop size α and show that the entire viable parameter space will be probed by an array of future experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number041305
Number of pages7
JournalPhys. Rev. Lett.
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

7 pages, 3 figures. v2: revised treatment of the higher cosmic-string modes [see Eq. (6)], resulting in a few numerical but no qualitative changes. v3: matches version published in PRL


  • astro-ph.CO
  • gr-qc
  • hep-ph
  • hep-th


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