A wormhole is a theoretical passage through spacetime, providing a shortcut for long journeys across the universe. Wormholes are predicted by general relativity. But be very careful: the wormhole carries dangers such as sudden collapse, high-energy radiation or dangerous exposure to “foreign” objects.
The Wormhole Theory
An illustration of a wormhole – the connection between a black hole and a white hole. Photo: Stockernumber2/Dreamstime
Wormholes were first theorized in 1916, although at that time the concept of “wormholes” had not yet been named as it is now. Considering the solutions proposed by many physicists,For the equations of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity, the Australian physicist Ludwig Flamm realized that such solutions were possible. He described a “white hole”, a hypothesis that is the inverse of a black hole. The entrances of black holes and white holes can be connected by a “space-time conduit”.
In 1935, Einstein and physicist Nathan Rosen applied general relativity to an idea, suggesting the existence of “bridges” across spacetime. These bridges connect two different points in spacetime, creating a shortcut in theory that could reduce travel time and distance. These shortcuts are called Einstein–Rosen Bridgehay deep hole.
Physicist Nathan Rosen (1909-1995). Source: physics.unc.edu
“The whole theory is just hypothetical at this point,” said Stephen Hsu, professor of theoretical physics at the University of Oregon. No one thinks we’ll find a wormhole anytime soon.”
The wormhole consists of two “mouths”, with a “throat” connecting them. The mouth of the hole can be spherical, the throat is straight and elongated, but it can also be rolled up, which makes the distance longer than the normal way.
Mathematically, Einstein’s theory of general relativity predicted the existence of wormholes, but so far no wormholes have been discovered. A negative mass wormhole can be detected by the way its gravity acts on passing light.
Some solutions of general relativity allow wormholes, whose main mouth is a black hole, to exist in the universe. However, an existing black hole, formed from the collapse of a dying star, will not on its own create a wormhole.
Go through the wormhole
Science fiction is filled with stories about traversing wormholes. But the reality of every trip is much more complicated, not least because we haven’t found a single wormhole yet.
Deep holes – the path connecting black holes and white holes. Photo: Taringa
The first problem is the size. Primordial wormholes were originally predicted to exist at the microscopic level, around 10-33 cm. However, as the universe expands, some wormholes will be stretched to larger sizes.
The other problem is its stability. Einstein-Rosen’s hypothetical wormholes would have no effect on travel because they collapse so quickly. “We would need some kind of strange matter to stabilize the wormhole, and such matter is unlikely to exist in the universe already,” Prof Hsu said. “But more recent studies have shown that wormholes containing ‘foreign’ material can open and remain constant for long periods of time.”
“Strange” matter is hypothetical matter, not made up of baryons – the subatomic particles (such as protons and neutrons) that make up ordinary matter. Image source: nationsstates.net
Foreign matter, which should not be confused with dark matter or antimatter, has a high negative energy density and negative pressure. Such matter is observable only through the manifestation of an indeterminate vacuum state, within the framework of quantum field theory.
If a wormhole contains a sufficient amount of foreign matter, whether spontaneous or added by an outside agent, the wormhole could theoretically be used to send information or send passengers into space. Unfortunately, human travel through these space tunnels can be quite a challenge.
Physicist Kip Thorne, one of the world’s foremost experts on relativity, black holes and wormholes, said: “No one has done this yet, so we just don’t know. But there is some signs that the wormhole through which humans travel will be forbidden by the laws of physics. It’s sad, it’s unfortunate, but that’s the direction things are going.”
Many people believe that wormholes are the path to another region of space, or even another universe. Photo: Eve Online
Wormholes can not only connect two separate regions of the universe, but also connect two different universes. Similarly, some scientists have speculated that if the mouth of a wormhole were moved in the right way, it would allow time travel.
“We can go to the future or go back to the past using wormholes that allow travel,” said astrophysicist Eric Davis. But it won’t be easy because “It will take extraordinary effort to turn a wormhole into a time machine. Conquering a wormhole would certainly be difficult.
However, British cosmologist Stephen Hawking countered that this could not happen. NASA scientist Eric Christian added: “A wormhole doesn’t necessarily mean time travel, it’s a shortcut, so something far away is much closer.”
Stephen Hawking – the main scientist studying black holes. He was very interested in the idea of space-time travel.
Although adding foreign matter to the wormhole can stabilize it to the point that human passengers can safely pass through it, it’s still possible that adding “common” matter is enough to make it worse. -temporal becomes unstable.
Current technology is still insufficient to expand or stabilize wormholes, even when they are discovered. Still, scientists continue to explore time travel ideas in hopes that advances in technology might eventually make their application possible.
“We’re going to need very, very advanced technology,” says Professor Hsu. Humans still won’t be able to do that in the near future. »