From fundamental strings to small black holes
We give evidence in favour of a string/black hole transition in the case of BPS fundamental string states of the Heterotic string. Our analysis goes beyond the counting of degrees of freedom and considers the evolution of dynamical quantities in the process. As the coupling increases, the string states decrease their size up to the string scale when a small black hole is formed. We compute the absorption cross section for several fields in both the black hole and the perturbative string phases. At zero frequency, these cross sections can be seen as order parameters for the transition. In particular, for the scalars fixed at the horizon the cross section evolves to zero when the black hole is formed.