We present and describe an exact solution of Einstein’s equations which represents a snapping
cosmic string in a vacuum background with a cosmological constant Λ. The snapping of the
string generates an impulsive spherical gravitational wave which is a particular member of a
known family of such waves. The global solution for all values of Λ is presented in various
metric forms and interpreted geometrically. It is shown to represent the limit of a family of
sandwich type N Robinson–Trautman waves. It is also derived as a limit of the C-metric
with Λ, in which the acceleration of the pair of black holes becomes unbounded while their
masses are scaled to zero.
This pre-print has been submitted, and accepted, to the journal, Classical and Quantum Gravity. The definitive version: PODOLSKY, J. and GRIFFITHS, J.B., 2004. A snapping cosmic string in a de Sitter or anti-de Sitter universe. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 21(11), pp.2537-2547 .