We examine the nonlinear classical dynamics of a fundamental string in anti-de Sitter spacetime. The string is dual to the flux tube between an external quark-antiquark pair in N = 4 super Yang-Mills theory. We perturb the string by shaking the endpoints and compute its time evolution numerically. We find that with sufficiently strong perturbations the string continues extending and plunges into the Poincaré horizon. In the evolution, effective horizons are also dynamically created on the string worldsheet. The quark and antiquark are thus causally disconnected, and the string transitions to two straight strings. The forces acting on the endpoints vanish with a power law whose slope depends on the perturbations. The condition for this transition to occur is that energy injection exceeds the static energy between the quark-antiquark pair.
ASJC Scopus subject areas