## Abstract

According to the standard prescriptions, zero-temperature string theories can be extended to finite temperature by compactifying their time directions on a so-called "thermal circle" and implementing certain orbifold twists. However, the existence of a topologically nontrivial thermal circle leaves open the possibility that a gauge flux can pierce this circle-i.e., that a nontrivial Wilson line (or equivalently a nonzero chemical potential) might be involved in the finite-temperature extension. In this paper, we concentrate on the zero-temperature heterotic and TypeI strings in ten dimensions, and survey the possible Wilson lines which might be introduced in their finite-temperature extensions. We find a rich structure of possible thermal string theories, some of which even have nontraditional Hagedorn temperatures, and we demonstrate that these new thermal string theories can be interpreted as extrema of a continuous thermal free-energy "landscape." Our analysis also uncovers a unique finite-temperature extension of the heterotic SO(32) and E _{8}× E _{8} strings which involves a nontrivial Wilson line, but which-like the traditional finite-temperature extension without Wilson lines-is metastable in this thermal landscape.

Original language | English (US) |
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Article number | 066007 |

Journal | Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology |

Volume | 86 |

Issue number | 6 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Sep 17 2012 |

## ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)