Functional Wormholes Are Possible, but Gravity Has to Be On Our Side

Functional Wormholes Are Possible, but Gravity Has to Be On Our Side
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The idea of wormholes sounds extremely exciting. Mathematics predicts their existence, although they’re not naturally occurring phenomenons. Not being forced to travel across hundreds or tens of thousands of light-years if we want to go to another star sounds perfect. With a wormhole, a shortcut in spacetime would be instantly created, and you can even use it to travel in time and repair your mistakes of the past. If only someone could build it for us, like in the 2014 “Interstellar” sci-fi movie!

Creating a wormhole would theoretically be possible if we find a way to exploit a tremendous amount of energy. Bending spacetime is certainly no child play. The amount of energy needed for such a purpose also depends on how far you want to go, according to Quora, and the publication also informs us that if we want to travel only 1 light-year, we should find a way to generate 1,618 TeraWatt of energy. But still, nobody would guarantee us that we’ll be able to return from such a journey. However, there could be a way…

We need some peculiar gravity

João Rosa, a physicist at Aveiro University (Portugal), spoke for LiveScience.com about the problems that can occur while and if you finally have a wormhole at your disposal. The publication also explains how those problems could be avoided. First of all, the wormhole needs to be traversable, with no danger for the passenger to get trapped in the passageway. Rosa added for LiveScience.com:

Any traveler trying to cross a wormhole that does not satisfy this will be crushed inside as the tunnel collapses.

Rosa is aiming to virtually “build” that traversable wormhole. He also says that it’s feasible, with the condition of tweaking the understanding of gravity. The wormholes predicted by Albert Einstein’s General Relativity Theory aren’t traversable, as you could never leave one once you’re in. And another problem of these theoretical wormholes is that they’re unstable – they’ll collapse as soon as any amount of matter enters.

Credit: Pixabay.com, Gabe Raggio
Credit: Pixabay.com, Gabe Raggio

Einstein explained that gravity defines the link between matter and energy, but also between space and time. When building a wormhole, someone has to find a configuration of energy and matter that allows the formation of a tunnel.

Negative mass or negative energy needed

For getting a wormhole stabilized, someone has to fashion the wormhole out of a rare form of matter that features negative energy or negative mass. However, negative mass was never found by scientists, but that doesn’t automatically mean that it surely doesn’t exist. As for negative energy, it could bea little more attainable.

Rosa explained as quoted by LiveScience.com:

The presence of this matter is essential as it prevents the wormhole throat from collapsing upon a traveler, but it is also problematic,

It presents a negative average energy density, an extremely rare characteristic of matter in the universe that is only observed in very specific situations at the quantum level.

As you’ve already guessed, creating a wormhole using matter featuring negative mass and negative energy is highly unfeasible since we don’t know where to find them. But since Einstein’s view on gravity has proven to be highly reliable in science, perhaps an improved theory of gravity would finally solve the conundrum for allowing the existence of functional wormholes.

Although the idea of a wormhole is consistent with Einstein’s general theory of relativity, its existence in nature is highly debated. A lot of scientists even postulate that a wormhole is only a projection of a fourth dimension in space.

If somebody of you finds a way to create the wormhole, please don’t keep the secret for yourself! And if you’re the lucky one who brings the right formula to the world, let’s all hope that it won’t be used in a highly destructive way – such as changing history in a bad way.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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