Wormholes. This term has been popularized more so by science fiction and entertainment media than actual scientific literature. In popular depictions, wormholes have been dramatized to be a mystical vortex transcending rules of space and time and transporting the traveller to a quirky and convoluted dimension. From Matthew McConaughey in “Interstellar” to Spock in the 2009 “Star Trek” film, people’s interests seem to be following a set pattern indicated by their need to decode the enigma behind an intriguing phenomenon by weaving fragments of their imagination into scientific principles backing the existence of these cosmic entities.
Strong arguments exist to discuss the occurrence of a wormhole but the phenomenon dodges the basic laws of science by a fair mile, thus questioning the actuality of its occurrence. But hey, we can’t keep our hands out of a curious cookie jar kept away by our parents, we surely would want to unravel the enigmatic façade of a wormhole! Here, we hope to help you as your imagination and intellect work their way around the potential world inside a wormhole.
Physicists Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen first imagined the possibility of a wormhole. The intention behind this assumption was rather mundane and it’s safe to say that they were not trying to jump across the fabric of space into a parallel universe. In reality, it was a way to avoid a messy detail in physics: the singularity. Singularities are points where the math reaches infinity, like a particle with all of its mass concentrated into an infinitely small point.
In a 1935 paper, Einstein and Rosen argued that you could theoretically avoid a singularity by extending that point into a path that leads to a second location. To construct a visual understanding of this, you can take a very famous example of a balloon. Let us consider a balloon with a dot on either side representing the singularities. Einstein and Rosen’s solution would be to push them inward toward each other and connect them, forming a tube-shaped path from one side of the balloon to the other. This was called the Einstein-Rosen Bridge — what most people know as a wormhole.
In 1939, this bizarre theory attracted more attention when Einstein proposed his theory of relativity and the possibility of a black hole, an even bigger singularity! Interestingly, the math behind these fantastical occurrences also introduced the theory of a white hole. Essentially the converse of a black hole, a white hole is supposed to be a point of no entry, just like a black hole is a point of no return.
Many people theorized that a wormhole connected a black hole and a potential white hole. While it’s jolly to construct these extravagant ideas, science finds it extremely challenging to evaluate the feasibility of the principles behind the existences of these
Wormholes are sadly not as stable as they are depicted. They open and close so quickly that not even a subatomic particle can make it through. To fix that, you’d need to buttress the wormhole from the inside with exotic matter, which has negative energy density and negative pressure. Even if you could do that, your problems would only be starting. What could these problems be you ask? Well, you would have to learn how to enter a black hole for starters. Doing that could result in you being reduced to nothing but a bowl of spaghetti (If that isn’t bad enough, physicists predict that it could actually be worse!)
But why are we really here? No matter how farfetched the idea, we want to know what goes on inside a wormhole! In simple terms, the entry into a wormhole would result in a free fall until the arrival of the event horizon. Once you reached the event horizon, Sandrine Ceurstemont writes “you’d see an infinitely energetic flash of light from the outside world containing an image of the entire history of the universe.” Yes, we get Fullmetal Alchemist vibes from this as well.
You would then encounter a warped dimension where living reality would look heavily distorted. The flow of space would turn around and instead of being pulled inward, you’d be pushed outward until you saw another flash of light, this time containing the entire future of the universe. After the third flash of light upon reaching the white hole’s outer horizon, you’d reach your destination.
While it would be great to reach this “destination”, we wouldn’t want to end up there as nothing more than shredded paper do we? However, if the converse always exists, the presence of a stable universe such as ours could potentially indicate secure transport to another dimension as well. Until then, we have the comfort of our televisions to take us to any world we wish to visit.
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