This book is a comprehensive survey of the current state of knowledge about the dynamics and gravitational properties of cosmic strings treated in the idealized classical approximation as line singularities described by the Nambu-Goto action. The author's purpose is to provide a standard reference to all work that has been published since the mid-1970s and to link this work together in a single conceptual framework and a single notational formalism. A working knowledge of basic general relativity is assumed. The book will be essential reading for researchers and postgraduate students in mathematics, theoretical physics, and astronomy interested in cosmic strings.

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