Higher dimensional Taub-NUT spaces and applications
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In the first part of this thesis we discuss classes of new exact NUT-charged solutions in four dimensions and higher, while in the remainder of the thesis we make a study of their properties and their possible applications. <br /><br /> Specifically, in four dimensions we construct new families of axisymmetric vacuum solutions using a solution-generating technique based on the hidden <em>SL</em>(2,R) symmetry of the effective action. In particular, using the Schwarzschild solution as a seed we obtain the Zipoy-Voorhees generalisation of the Taub-NUT solution and of the Eguchi-Hanson soliton. Using the <em>C</em>-metric as a seed, we obtain and study the accelerating versions of all the above solutions. In higher dimensions we present new classes of NUT-charged spaces, generalizing the previously known even-dimensional solutions to odd and even dimensions, as well as to spaces with multiple NUT-parameters. We also find the most general form of the odd-dimensional Eguchi-Hanson solitons. We use such solutions to investigate the thermodynamic properties of NUT-charged spaces in (A)dS backgrounds. These have been shown to yield counter-examples to some of the conjectures advanced in the still elusive dS/CFT paradigm (such as the maximal mass conjecture and Bousso's entropic N-bound). One important application of NUT-charged spaces is to construct higher dimensional generalizations of Kaluza-Klein magnetic monopoles, generalizing the known 5-dimensional Kaluza-Klein soliton. Another interesting application involves a study of time-dependent higher-dimensional bubbles-of-nothing generated from NUT-charged solutions. We use them to test the AdS/CFT conjecture as well as to generate, by using stringy Hopf-dualities, new interesting time-dependent solutions in string theory. Finally, we construct and study new NUT-charged solutions in higher-dimensional Einstein-Maxwell theories, generalizing the known Reissner-Nordström solutions.