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Science & Technology

Could wormholes enable us to time travel ?

May 26, 2014 | Comment icon 81 comments



Could a wormhole be a portal to another time ? Image Credit: NASA
If a wormhole stayed open long enough it may be possible to send messages back and forth through time.
A wormhole is essentially a shortcut through the fabric of spacetime, a passageway that joins two separate points and through which something could theoretically pass in order to traverse large distances almost instantly.

Some physicists have taken this idea one step further by speculating that wormholes may exist for which each end resides in a different time as well as in a different place. If this turns out to be true then sending a photon through one of these inter-dimensional corridors could make it possible to send messages in to the past or future.
The catch however is that wormholes are only thought to exist for a tiny fraction of a second, far too short an existence to send anything through.

Now physicist Luke Butcher from the University of Cambridge has put forward a new idea that may be able to bypass this issue. His paper details the notion that if a wormhole is longer than it is wide then the energy within it may be sufficient to keep it open for long enough to send something through.

Whether these predictions will ever amount to a workable time travel mechanism remains to be seen, but it will certainly be interesting to observe first hand the peculiar physics going on inside one of these space-bending vortices if scientists ever do get the opportunity to study one up close.

Source: Phys.org | Comments (81)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #72 Posted by psyche101 8 years ago
The instant the wormhole opens, the present should start receiving information from the future. A quantum computer could do the same thing. It can open a wormhole. As soon as the first quantum computer is turned on, it will receive messages from the future as well as send messages to the past to try an open the wormhole. If a quantum computer works off of superposition and a particle in superposition can be in multiple places and times at once, then someone in the future already has a working quantum computer and is trying to communicate with us and with those in their future. We just have to ... [More]
Comment icon #73 Posted by psyche101 8 years ago
That would be cool if you could time travel, except people would wreck the past and possibly make the future even worse (if that is even possible) Plus, there is a theory that if you travel through time, you would have to go trans-dimensionally, and when you make the jump back, you may end up existing within the same time and space as another object, leading you to have your head through a rock or a tree...ouch Unless the film frame idea is correct. One theory postulates that if you go back in time and shoot your Grandpa, he will wake up as normal the next day. The idea being that time is alre... [More]
Comment icon #74 Posted by Leonardo 8 years ago
I agree completely. I guess I wasn't very clear in my previous post... I suspect our difference lay in how we used the word 'shared', and I can now see that our positions are not really different at all. Thanks for the discussion and for being patient!
Comment icon #75 Posted by geonerd 7 years ago
How does a Quantum computer open wormholes? What they do is replace 1's and 0's with qubits that can be both at once achieving more than one state simultaneously, which obviously increased computing power and speed - how does that make a wormhole? Qubits are in superposition. They pop in and out of existence and can be in multiple places at once, not just two. In the macro world, this is spooky action at a distance, but in the quantum world it is business as usual. Qubits appear to exist in multiple places at once. This is an illusion. The macro world is too large to experience quantum effects... [More]
Comment icon #76 Posted by Frank Merton 7 years ago
I think somewhere in all that you lost contact with the ground.
Comment icon #77 Posted by geonerd 7 years ago
I think somewhere in all that you lost contact with the ground. Look up Stuart Hameroff at the AZ State University. He is a professor and doctor there. He has published many papers on the microtubules and consciousness. He runs the Center for Consciousness Studies. I'm well grounded. Sorry you don't understand. Keep at it and maybe one day!!
Comment icon #78 Posted by Frank Merton 7 years ago
Look up Stuart Hameroff at the AZ State University. He is a professor and doctor there. He has published many papers on the microtubules and consciousness. He runs the Center for Consciousness Studies. I'm well grounded. Sorry you don't understand. Keep at it and maybe one day!! I understand well enough. Your arrogance only serves to reinforce my original suspicion.
Comment icon #79 Posted by bison 7 years ago
Read over the article linked in the original post. The classic deion of the Casimir effect, involving two metal plates, and the creation of negative energy between them set me thinking. If a long enough wormhole can do the same thing, could we increase the negative energy inside it, and so hold it open, by directing electromagnetic energy at it , at a wavelength longer than can get through it? For example, if the wormhole portals are one meter in diameter, direct two meter wavelength radio waves at it.
Comment icon #80 Posted by geonerd 7 years ago
I understand well enough. Your arrogance only serves to reinforce my original suspicion. Arrogance. How's that. You are funny. Did you have a bad day. Did someone pee in your corn flakes.
Comment icon #81 Posted by bison 7 years ago
If a wormhole acts something like a fiber optic tube, it might be possible to send an image of a circle of light through it, equal in diameter to the mouth of the wormhole. As this traveled through the wormhole it would act like a hollow beam, with most of the energy concentrated near the edges of the wormhole. This might make the central part of the worm hole assume a relative negative energy density, and so hold it open as long as the image of the light circle was transmitted.


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