Nielsen-Olesen vortex in varying-α theories

João Magueijo, Håvard Sandvik, T. W. B. Kibble
2001 Physical Review D, Particles and fields  
We consider soliton solutions to Bekenstein's theory, for which the fine structure constant $\alpha=e^2/(4\pi\hbar c)$ is allowed to vary due to the presence of a dielectric field pervading the vacuum. More specifically we investigate the effects of a varying $\alpha$ upon a complex scalar field with a U(1) electromagnetic gauge symmetry subject to spontaneous symmetry breaking. We find vortex solutions to this theory, similar to the Nielsen-Olesen vortex. Near the vortex core the electric
more » ... e the electric charge is typically much larger than far away from the string, lending these strings a superconducting flavour. In general the dielectric field coats the usual local string with a global string envelope. We discuss the cosmological implications of networks of such strings, with particular emphasis on their ability to generate inhomogeneous recombination scenarios. We also consider the possibility of the dielectric being a charged free field. Even though the vacuum of such a field is trivial, we find that the dielectric arranges itself in the shape of a local string, with a quantized magnetic flux at the core -- presumably borrowing these topological features from the underlying Nielsen-Olesen vortex.
doi:10.1103/physrevd.64.023521 fatcat:olniyyl4ojcyvmn64pjfoj7b2i