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Space & Astronomy

Wormholes could serve as stable conduits through space after all

By T.K. Randall
November 16, 2021 · Comment icon 6 comments

Wormholes could be the key to long-distance space travel. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Kjordand
A new study has played down fears that wormholes would not be stable enough.
On the face of it, a wormhole might seem like a straight forward concept - link two black holes in different parts of the cosmos to create a tunnel through which a space traveler could pass.

In reality however, it's not quite that simple.

It's certainly an idea that has been around for a while - physicists Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen took a very serious look at the concept in connection with Einstein's general theory of relativity, theorizing the existence of what is known as an "Einstein-Rosen bridge."

In recent years however, physicists have cast serious doubt on the possibility that such a structure could ever remain stable long enough for someone to actually travel through it.
In all likelihood, they argue, a wormhole would collapse almost instantaneously.

While this would seem to be the final nail in the coffin for the idea of using wormholes for space travel, a new study has since contradicted these findings by suggesting that wormholes might actually be a lot more stable than previously believed.

The physics behind the mechanism through which this is theoretically possible are rather complicated, however it is all to do with what is known as the Eddington-Finkelstein metric and what happens to a particle once it crosses the event horizon of a black hole (one half of a theoretical wormhole.)

The new research, which was conducted by physicist Pascal Koiran from the Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon in France, suggests that wormhole travel might in fact be possible.

If true, perhaps future generations will one day learn how to use them to explore the stars.

Source: Live Science | Comments (6)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by zep73 2 years ago
Great, let's go! The closest black hole is only 1,500 LY away. At 18,000 mph it would only take 55.8 million years to get there. Never mind that entering a wormhole could destroy the ship and crew, and that they'll have no clue where they'll end up, if they succeed.  
Comment icon #2 Posted by jethrofloyd 2 years ago
Every beginning is difficult. Things go faster and faster all the time.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Tatetopa 2 years ago
Well we can't even seem to agree of high-speed rail in the US. Not a lot of folks will care. Its cool, but at this point is is just dueling theories.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Y. Wolvenberg 2 years ago
I'm not a expert in the matter. But does the new data they seem to have on wormholes change the fact that anything entering is being destroyed?  I could be wrong but it seems you give the capabilities of a black hole to a wormhole in your explanation.
Comment icon #5 Posted by zep73 2 years ago
The wormhole is a theoretical bi-product of the black hole. They are closely and intimately related. Avoiding the event horizon, the most destructive force in the universe, is like surfing the ocean without getting wet. What if the theory is wrong? What if the calculations are off? And that's just the first one, the one you have in front of you. The second one, at your destination, you can't calculate or navigate, 'coz you don't know its exact location. Chances are high you will get too close, or fly right into it. In a 'what can go wrong' scenario, your chance of success is slim.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Hammerclaw 2 years ago
John Crichton got it right!

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