Wormhole illustration

A beam of light traversing a path between two points in curved space-time can take longer to complete the journey than a hypothetical spaceship taking advantage of a wormhole’s shortcut connection between the two distinct regions of space-time.

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Albert Einstein



Related Topics:

Black Holes

Michio Kaku:  Travelling Through Time


Although they may seem more the stuff of science fiction than science fact, physicists first dreamed up the idea of wormholes. In 1935, Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen realized that general relativity allows the existence of “bridges,” originally called Einstein-Rosen bridges but now known as wormholes. These space-time tubes act as shortcuts connecting distant regions of space-time. By journeying through a wormhole, you could travel between the two regions faster than a beam of light would be able to if it moved through normal space-time. As with any mode of faster-than-light travel, wormholes offer the possibility of time travel.

        Until recently, theorists believed that wormholes could exist for only an instant of time, and anyone trying to pass through would run into a singularity. But more recent calculations show that a truly advanced civilization might be able to make wormholes work. By using something physicists call “exotic matter,” which has a negative energy, the civilization could prevent a wormhole from collapsing on itself. The stuff of science fiction, to be sure. But perhaps some day in the far future, it could also turn into science fact.


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