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The gravitational field associated with cosmic strings can produce a variety of quantum field effects, such as vacuum polarisation and particle production. We investigate the behaviour of particle detectors near straight strings in free space, immersed in thermal radiation, and passing through black holes. The expectation values of the stress-energymomentum tensor for a scalar field near straight strings through black holes and in Robertson-Walker cosmological spacetimes are also calculated.doi:10.1088/0264-9381/5/1/009 fatcat:5c26g46xbjgprngvkrojohqeze