Travel through wormholes is possible, but slow

wormhole
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A Harvard physicist has shown that wormholes can exist: tunnels in curved space-time, connecting two distant places, through which travel is possible.

But don't pack your bags for a trip to other side of the galaxy yet; although it's theoretically possible, it's not useful for humans to through, said the author of the study, Daniel Jafferis, from Harvard University, written in collaboration with Ping Gao, also from Harvard and Aron Wall from Stanford University.

"It takes longer to get through these wormholes than to go directly, so they are not very useful for ," Jafferis said. He will present his findings at the 2019 American Physical Society April Meeting in Denver.

Despite his pessimism for pan-galactic travel, he said that finding a way to construct a through which light could travel was a boost in the quest to develop a theory of quantum gravity.

"The real import of this work is in its relation to the black hole information problem and the connections between gravity and ," Jafferis said.

The new theory was inspired when Jafferis began thinking about two that were entangled on a quantum level, as formulated in the ER=EPR correspondence by Juan Maldacena from the Institute for Advanced Study and Lenny Susskind from Stanford. Although this means the between the black holes is shorter than the wormhole connection—and therefore the wormhole travel is not a shortcut—the theory gives new insights into quantum mechanics.

"From the outside perspective, travel through the wormhole is equivalent to quantum teleportation using entangled black holes," Jafferis said.

Jafferis based his theory on a setup first devised by Einstein and Rosen in 1935, consisting of a connection between two black holes (the term wormhole was coined in 1957). Because the wormhole is traversable, Jafferis said, it was a special case in which information could be extracted from a black hole.

"It gives a causal probe of regions that would otherwise have been behind a horizon, a window to the experience of an observer inside a spacetime, that is accessible from the outside," said Jafferis.

To date, a major stumbling block in formulating traversable wormholes has been the need for negative energy, which seemed to be inconsistent with quantum gravity. However, Jafferis has overcome this using quantum field theory tools, calculating quantum effects similar to the Casimir effect.

"I think it will teach us deep things about the gauge/gravity correspondence, quantum gravity, and even perhaps a new way to formulate mechanics," Jafferis said.


Explore further

Scientists dismiss the idea of travel through wormholes

More information: The presentation, "Traversable wormholes" will take place at 11:21 a.m. MT, Saturday, April 13, in room Plaza D of the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. Abstract: meetings.aps.org/Meeting/APR19/Session/B02.2
Citation: Travel through wormholes is possible, but slow (2019, April 15) retrieved 19 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-wormholes.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
2071 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Apr 15, 2019
"From the outside perspective, travel through the wormhole is equivalent to quantum teleportation using entangled black holes," Jafferis said. This means the direct connection between the black holes is shorter than the wormhole connection—and therefore the wormhole travel is not a shortcut.

I see. I will continue using my customary direct connection between black holes for travel, unless the proposed method is significantly cheaper, and there is no hurry so an extra millennium in transit is not a problem.

Apr 15, 2019
Yes.

Apr 15, 2019
Lol...curved space-time...the parrots' chirp. File as Fiction.

Apr 15, 2019
Hmmm... so he's claiming that these wormholes were made for crawling.

No wonder we haven't seen any aliens, they are stuck.

Apr 15, 2019
So, if I understand correctly? Wormholes & Black Holes are hypothesized to be different phenomena?

I agree with the evidence that inside the periphery pf an Event Horizon all there is?
Are gravitrons.
Explaining why the only phenomena effectually measured to exit a BH/EH,
is gravitational attraction.

A BH us timeless, never losing energy. As gravity cannot be turned off or be exhausted.

Inside the periphery of the Event Horizon? The Laws of Physics are meaningless.
The Cosmic Rules & Regulatory authority no longer apply.

In this article, it appeared as if those conditions are untrue of the inside of a Wormhole?
That Human defined Physics do apply inside a wormhole?
That not only can it be entered but also the seemingly implausible possibility of exit.

Did I understand these researcher's conclusions correctly?

So, again!
Similarity is not equivalence.
How exciting for the spirits of * Stephen Hawking &
MC Escher!

Apr 15, 2019
Now this is interesting. Physicists have been messing with wormholes since they were discovered as a solution to GRT; this is the first time they've been used to hint at new mathematical tools to analyze it. The last big revolution has been the discovery of real physical black holes, culminating in detections of them by gravitational waves, and by direct observation, the first in 2015, and the second this week. Relativity remains strong.

Apr 15, 2019
Lol...curved space-time...the parrots' chirp. File as Fiction.
says MrKP

There is no such thing as Spacetime, especially not "curved" Spacetime. Only Space itself can be curved - without the nonexistent 'time'. We have gone through this argument before.

Apr 15, 2019
Since we humans are all merely information hologramlike constructs now, I suppose any mathematical absurdity that can get a grant and be called research is to be taken very seriously for that reason.

Apr 15, 2019
Lol...curved space-time...the parrots' chirp. File as Fiction.
says MrKP

There is no such thing as Spacetime, especially not "curved" Spacetime. Only Space itself can be curved - without the nonexistent 'time'. We have gone through this argument before.

https://www.youtu...tO5dMqEI

Apr 21, 2019
Just about every time a good work=around appears, then some pathoskeptik steps in and tries to kill the dream, as if they get a perverse sexual pleasure in killing people's hope. Bet most of those extreme pessimists were turned down by women more times than a worn out army blanket.

Apr 22, 2019
There is no spacetime "fabric" since time is a manmade metrical reference using convenient clocks (orbits, rotations, etc.) to map the evolution of the current state of the universe; and space is nothingness. Fields and forces in space only warp its contents. The miniscule photon mass is attracted by gravity, and is the cause of the various effects attributed to spacetime. It is also responsible for the internal dynamics of the photon structure and its propagation, in addition to the red shifting as it consumes its internal energy.

Apr 23, 2019
Lol...curved space-time...the parrots' chirp. File as Fiction.
Very True

Apr 23, 2019
the longer science will keep repeating the word Einstein, the longer it will take to make progress

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more