Thermal equilibrium in string theory in the Hagedorn phase

Ram Brustein, Yoav Zigdon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In string theory, a thermal state is described by compactifying Euclidean time on a thermal circle Sβ1, of fixed circumference. However, this circumference is a dynamical field which could vary in space, therefore thermal equilibrium is not guaranteed. We discuss a thermal state of type II string theory near and above the Hagedorn temperature and show that the circumference of the thermal circle can indeed be fixed and stabilized in the presence of a uniform isotropic flux. We solve the equations of motion derived from an action that reproduces the tree-level string S-matrix. We find solutions with the topologies of Sβ1× S2×Md−2 at a fixed temperature, which include a space-filling winding-mode condensate and a uniform Neveu-Schwarz Neveu-Schwarz flux supported on Sβ1× S2. The solutions that we find have either a linear dilaton or a constant dilaton, in which case, we find solutions with either a cosmological constant or a Ramond-Ramond flux. We then compare our solutions to the cigar and cylinder backgrounds associated with the SL(2, ℝ)/U(1) coset theory, which include a winding-mode condensate but without flux. We also compare and contrast our solutions with the non-uniform Horowitz-Polchinski solution, which also possesses a winding-mode condensate and is characterized by an approximate thermal equilibrium near the Hagedorn temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2022


  • Flux Compactifications
  • Superstrings and Heterotic Strings
  • Tachyon Con- densation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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