cosmic string


: any of a class of hypothetical supermassive astronomical objects that are extremely thin but are millions of light years long and that are postulated to have formed very early in the history of the universe

Examples of cosmic string in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But gravitational waves unleashed during phase transitions or cast from cosmic strings or domain walls would be loudest at specific frequencies. Elise Cutts, Quanta Magazine, 17 Apr. 2024 Perhaps the event of inflation, which occurred immediately after the Big Bang, can teach us about string theory (or the formation of Universe-spanning cosmic strings). Paul Sutter, Ars Technica, 27 Jan. 2023 But the gravitational-wave background could also be coming from something else, like hypothetical cracks in space-time known as cosmic strings. Katrina Miller, New York Times, 29 June 2023 But other, stranger phenomena, such as cosmic strings or massively inflated quantum fluctuations from right after the big bang, could also be contributing to the gravitational-wave background. Meghan Bartels, Scientific American, 28 June 2023 The typical mass of a cosmic string depends on many theoretical factors, but a good rule of thumb is that a kilometer of cosmic string can outweigh the entire planet Earth. Paul Sutter, Ars Technica, 20 Sep. 2022 Another possibility is the signal is the result of a cosmic string — a hypothetical defect in space-time produced in the first few moments following inflation. Caitlyn Buongiorno, Discover Magazine, 2 Sep. 2020 That likely would not create a stable wormhole, per se, as the cosmic strings would eventually vibrate themselves into nothingness. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, 27 Aug. 2019 Gravitational waves could help with the search for cosmic strings—putative enormous, superdense filamentary structures in space. The Economist, 22 Aug. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cosmic string.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1983, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cosmic string was in 1983

Dictionary Entries Near cosmic string

Cite this Entry

“Cosmic string.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

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