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Hagedorn transition and chronology protection in string theory

We conjecture chronology is protected in string theory due to the condensation of light winding strings near closed null curves. This condensation triggers a Hagedorn phase transition, whose end-point target space geometry should be chronological. Contrary to conventional arguments, chronology is protected by an infrared effect. We support this conjecture by studying strings in the O-plane orbifold, where we show that some winding string states are unstable and condense in the non-causal region of spacetime. The one-loop string partition function has infrared divergences associated to the condensation of these states. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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