The universe houses different kinds of mysteries, most of them still unresolved. One of the most popular of these mysteries is the theory of wormholes and time-travel.
Wormholes are a puzzle where scientists can’t find the last piece. And for any time-travel enthusiast, they are a common field of research and fascination. If you’re watching the Netflix series, “Dark”, we may guess why you are here and now!
But of course, we understand that not every enthusiast has time for scientific research. That’s why, if you’re not ready for undertaking academic paperwork but still want to know more about wormholes, we’ve got your back! You can learn about this mysterious space event right here! Let’s go for it!
Time-travel: how does it relate to wormholes?
We all have at least once dreamed of going back in time and solving our mistakes, and in 1915, Albert Einstein with his relativity theory showed us a little proof that this could come true.
Wormholes (also known as the bridge of Einstein-Rosen) are one of the most common resources used for science fiction. If nothing can travel faster than light, how can we travel between two points in less time than light?
There are only two ways:
- superlight speed (faster than light): as stated in Einstein’s theory, this speed is impossible, that’s a well-accepted scientific fact.
- Wormholes: going through space-time tunnels that connect two places at the same time. This would mean that we travel under the speed of light, but using a shortcut that connects two points of the space very distant from each other.
So, now that we stated that wormholes are the only way that time-traveling would be possible. Let’s get into the matter: What are wormholes, and how do they work?
Wormholes: what are they, and how do they work?
We already stated that a wormhole (bridge of Einstein-Rosen) is some kind of time-space tunnel.
We could say that they link the space-time dimensions: the regular 3 space dimensions (length, width, and height), and a fourth dimension that would be time.
That bridge or linking connects two space points at the same time. Even if those points are separated for millions of kilometers or just hundreds. Or if they’re in a different “dimension” than the one we live in, a wormhole could create a path between them.
The fastest route between two points is the straight line, right? That’s precisely how a wormhole works. It traverses or bends the space-time and creates that path or shortcut where the two dimensions or places can be linked.
Just Like we do in our every day: we want to cross a mountain? We make a tunnel under it and create a direct line between two afar places. The same happens with bridges: instead of rounding the river, we cut through it. It’s the same with wormholes but in space-time.
Here you can see a graphic representation of how a wormhole works, in case you don’t understand well how the dimensions’ bending works.
But do wormholes really exist?
Well, the answer is that we don’t know yet. Physics allow the theory and present more than one reason not to discard it, but there’s no tangible way to prove it. This means that, until now, wormholes exist only on a rational level, and scientists do not expect to bump into one shortly.
Actually, they don’t even know if they’ll be able to spot them, in case they present at a sight range, as wormholes only take place on a subatomic scale.
Can we time-travel through wormholes?
So, the main question in all this riddle or puzzle about wormholes is whether or not we can actually use them for traveling in time, but the answer may disappoint you.
The truth is that the energy and density that we need to open the hole would entail the destruction of any object that tries to get through it. This would happen because we wouldn’t be able to stabilize all that energy and density, making it more or less, a weapon of massive destruction, instead of a bridge.
How could we stabilize the wormhole and keep it open?
For a wormhole to be stable, it would need to be filled with what scientists call exotic matter. This matter is what would lie inside the tunnel, preventing it from collapsing.
One theoric way to stabilize it is the Casimir Effect. But scientists are not sure how to apply it correctly (yet!). Another one could be settling dark energy as that exotic matter, but dark energy is still unknown to us.
In conclusion, we could say that until this moment, we can’t confirm that wormholes really exist on a physical level. And unfortunately, scientists are light-years from confirming or denying them, because of the technological possibilities we have.
But the fact that this theory can’t be discarded gives hope to the community that, in the future, we may develop the technology to prove wormholes and time-travel exist, and who knows? Just like they did in “Dark”, we may create a clockwork machine to travel back in time! Hopefully, we won’t end up tangling our world as Jonas and Martha did with theirs!