Could wormholes allow Time Travel?While it may seem wishful thinking, a physicist from Cambridge University believes that, in theory, it could be possible.
We’ve all wished someone from the future could send us tomorrow’s lottery ticket numbers.
While it may seem wishful thinking, a physicist from Cambridge University believes that, in theory, it could be possible.
He argues that if a thin wormhole stays open long enough, people might send messages instantly through time using pulses of light.
Wormholes are theoretical tunnels that create shortcuts in space-time. Dr Luke Butcher at Cambridge University argues that if a thin wormhole stays open long enough, people could send messages through time using pulses of light. In theory, this light- called a photon – could carry a message to a distant past or future
WHAT IS A WORMHOLE?
Space-time can be warped and distorted. It takes an enormous amount of matter or energy to create such distortions, but theoretically, distortions are possible.
In the case of the wormhole, a shortcut is made by warping the fabric of space-time. Imagine folding a piece of paper with two pencil marks drawn on it to represent two points in space-time.
The line between them shows the distance from one point to the other in normal space-time.
If the paper is now bent and folded over almost double – the equivalent to warping space-time – then poking the pencil through the paper provides a much shorter way of linking the two points, in the same way a wormhole would create a shortcut.
The problem with using wormholes to travel in space or time is that they are inherently unstable. When a particle enters a wormhole, it also creates fluctuations that cause the structure to collapse in on it.
The latest study suggests there are unusual-shaped wormholes than may be able to stay open longer than normal.
Because the ends of a wormhole can exist at different points in time, if Professor Butcher’s theory proves correct, a message could be sent through time.
Dr Butcher warned a lot more work needs to be down to confirm his theory.
For instance, scientists still need to find out whether a pulse of light large enough to transmit a meaningful message can get through a collapsing wormhole and whether the pulse can actually escape the wormhole completely.
‘More calculations need to be done away from centre closer to mouths to see if the theory holds true,’ added Dr Butcher.
‘I would also like to look at the opposite case.
‘Could a very short and fat worm hole be able to send messages through time?
‘This is all very much theoretical, but the possibilities are intriguing.’