Stable charged cosmic strings
We study the quantum stabilization of a cosmic string by a heavy fermion doublet in a reduced version of the standard model. We show that charged strings, obtained by populating fermionic bound state levels, become stable if the electroweak bosons are coupled to a fermion that is less than twice as heavy as the top quark. This result suggests that extraordinarily large fermion masses or unrealistic couplings are not required to bind a cosmic string in the standard model. Numerically we find the most favorable string profile to be a simple trough in the Higgs vacuum expectation value of radius 10-18m. The vacuum remains stable in our model, because neutral strings are not energetically favored. © 2011 American Physical Society.