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Wormholes: The Amazing Side of Time-Travel

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There’s probably not a single one of us who hasn’t, at some point, wondered what it would be like to travel through time. Of course, we must first make a strong case demonstrating that such a thing is, at the very least, feasible. It’s all good and well to share sensational and exciting stories of time-surfing with one and all. The fact is, though, we need much more than that. And, with that said, let’s now look at the science behind time-travel. Today, I’m focusing on the phenomenon called “Wormholes.” Nola Taylor Redd says: “The wormhole theory postulates that a theoretical passage through space-time could create shortcuts for long journeys across the universe. Wormholes are predicted by the theory of general relativity. But be wary: wormholes bring with them the dangers of sudden collapse, high radiation and dangerous contact with exotic matter. Wormholes were first theorized in 1916, though that wasn’t what they were called at the time. While reviewing another physicist’s solution to the equations in Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity, Austrian physicist Ludwig Flamm realized another solution was possible. He described a ‘white hole,’ a theoretical time reversal of a black hole. Entrances to both black and white holes could be connected by a space-time conduit.”

Jillian Scharr is a staff writer for NBC. She, too has, carefully addressed the almost-mind-boggling issues of time-travel and wormholes: “The concept of a time machine typically conjures up images of an implausible plot device used in a few too many science-fiction storylines. But according to Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which explains how gravity operates in the universe, real-life time travel isn’t just a vague fantasy. Traveling forward in time is an uncontroversial possibility, according to Einstein’s theory. In fact, physicists have been able to send tiny particles called muons, which are similar to electrons, forward in time by manipulating the gravity around them. That’s not to say the technology for sending humans 100 years into the future will be available anytime soon, though.”

Now, let us ponder deeply on the words of Calla Cofield, who provides us the following: “In his 1994 publication Black Holes and Time Warps…[Kip] Thorne proposes a thought experiment: Say he obtains a small wormhole, which connects two points in space as if they were not separated by any distance at all. Thorne takes his wormhole and puts one end in his living room, and the other aboard a spaceship parked in his front yard. Thorne’s wife, Carolee, hops aboard the spaceship to prepare for a trip. The two don’t have to say goodbye, though, because no matter how far away Carolee travels, they can see each other through the wormhole. They can even hold hands, as if through an open doorway.” Fascinating? Indeed! We aren’t over yet, though.

Bill Andrews, of Discover magazine, most assuredly gives us something to think about – and deeply too: “The first problem for any explorer determined to survey a wormhole is simply finding one. While Einstein’s work says they can exist, we don’t currently know of any. They may actually be impossible after all, forbidden by some deeper physics that the universe obeys, but we haven’t discovered. The second issue is that, despite years of research, scientists still aren’t really sure how wormholes would work. Can any technology ever create and manipulate them, or are they simply a part of the universe? Do they stay open forever, or are they only traversable for a limited time? And perhaps most significantly, are they stable enough to allow for human travel? The answer to all of these: We just don’t know.”

Now, I’ll share with you the words of my colleague and friend here at the Mysterious Universe website, Paul Seaburn. In 2017, he elected to immerse himself into this strange and swirling world of wormholes: “In a recent post on his Forbes blog, Starts with a Bang, theoretical astrophysicist and science writer Ethan Siegel lays out the parts and the plans for traveling backwards in time. Siegel claims this ‘time machine’ abides by Einstein’s general theory of relativity and will not destroy the universe as we know it. Siegel proposes a sort of reverse wormhole. Instead of the conventional ‘travel 40 light years out at nearly the speed of light, come back and you’ve aged 2 years while everyone else is 82 years older,’ he proposes a wormhole with one fixed end and one that moves around at nearly the speed of light. The wormhole is created, you wait a year and then enter the end that has been in motion. When you come out at the fixed end, it’s 40 years prior. That means if you entered this wormhole today, you could travel back to 1978.”

It’s most important to note that all of those who have addressed the issue of wormholes are well-respected figures in their own, specific arenas. And, they have brought to the table significant material that suggests wormholes and time-travel are both a reality. Heading back into the past? Don’t bet against it!

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