How these space-time shortcuts act like time machines

Because wormholes represent shortcuts through space-time, they could even act like time machines. You might emerge from one end of a wormhole at a time earlier than when you entered its other end.

While scientists have no evidence that wormholes actually exist in our world, they’re good tools to help astrophysicists like me think about space and time. They may also answer age-old questions about what the universe looks like.

Fact or fiction?

Because of these interesting features, many science fiction writers use wormholes in novels and movies. However, scientists have been just as captivated by the idea of wormholes as writers have.

While researchers have never found a wormhole in our universe, scientists often see wormholes described in the solutions to important physics equations. Most prominently, the solutions to the equations behind Einstein’s theory of space-time and general relativity include wormholes.

This theory describes the shape of the universe and how stars, planets, and other objects move throughout it. Because Einstein’s theory has been tested many, many times and found to be correct every time, some scientists do expect wormholes to exist somewhere out in the universe.

But, other scientists think wormholes can’t possibly exist because they would be too unstable.

The constant pull of gravity affects every object in the universe, including Earth. So gravity would have an effect on wormholes, too. The scientists who are skeptical about wormholes believe that after a short time, the middle of the wormhole would collapse under its own gravity unless it had some force pushing outward from inside the wormhole to counteract that force. The most likely way it would do that is using what’s called “negative energies,” which would oppose gravity and stabilize the wormhole.

Leave a Comment