Wormholes Science Fiction and Space Travel

Since its beginning it has always seemed that science fiction led the way in technological thought and science itself has produced real results from those fantasies. No more is this evident than in how we travel, modern comforts like electricity and how we communicate. What was science fiction decades ago or even a century ago is now mundane reality and there’s no reason think that this won’t be the case with each passing frontier we discover and cross over. When looking at space I’m sure that the ancients never dreamed that we could fly among the stars, walk on the moon or send probes to Mars and the outer planets for study. But we do these things today. It is very possible that within 50 years humans will do even more – perhaps exploring the solar system and setting up space stations at various points in the solar system. What will we do a century from now? Well, a century ago people thought it inconceivable that people might fly, yet airplne travel is a reality today. Even in the early 19th century fantastic things like time travel were being written about and it still is today. A century from now we may be able to travel vast distances through space by using our ever increasing knowledge of science. All of it fueled by imagination and thinking outside of the box. After all, science and imagination, and ingenuity is what enables us to do the things we take for granted today.

So if we were to travel the vast distances through space to discover other star systems or galaxies how would we get there? We are limited by the speed of light when it comes to the vast distances in space so we would have to think outside the box when it comes to transportation. Normal modes of transportation would take astronomical amounts of fuel and an extremely advanced ship of some sort. While fueling a ship would work for travel within the solar system it would not work when dealing with traveling outside of the galaxy or even outside of the solar system. Enter the science fiction idea of: wormholes. Wormholes would most likely have to be used. The possibility of their existance is real. What do I mean by this? Right now they are hypothetical, but the science behind the idea makes sense. A worm hole is a shortcut through the fabric of space/time. It has a throat that connects to two mouths that exist in two different places and times in space. It is a cosmic tunnel that theoretically can connect you from one end of space and time to another. Think of the transport technology used in Star Trek or the star gate/jump gates used in the shows Star Gate and Babylon 5 respectively. In fact, the film Contact shows a perfect example of what traveling through a wormhole might look like.There are certain kinds of wormholes; some are known as Eisentein-Rosen Bridges, which were derived from general relativity and still another type of wormhole is called a traversable wormhole; one that supposedly humans could use for travel. At this point there are no known possible traversable wormholes. The first kind arose from studying black holes, which we know already exist and also the theoretical possibility of their exact opposites – a white hole. The Eisenstein-Rosen Bridge wormhole is looked at as a solution to the Eisenstein field equations that deals with blackholes. Later it was shown that such wormholes were extremely unstable and would collapse as soon as they are opened so that not even light can escape through.

The understanding is that nothing, not even light can escape a black hole’s event horizon. Anything that is caught in its gravity well will eventually be stretched thin and crushed before entering. Theoretically, a wormhole is open for a brief time and is unstable and anything traveling through it will be crushed when it collapses. Something would have to be engineered to keep the hole open so that it could become stable enough to be used for travel; we would have to engineer a “traversable” wormhole as they probably would not exist naturally. Some scientists have theorized that negative matter, exotic matter, could be used to engineer a structure that could force a wormhole to stay open long enough for it to be useful for human travel through space. We woud have to come up with very advanced technology to engineer stable, artificial wormholes as natural ones are too risky.

a black hole in space is like a sink hole. but if traveling through a wormhole powered by a black hole what if the other end is actually a whitehole? A white hole would be the exact opposite of a black hole, where things are being sucked in through a black hole, things are being shot out from a whitehole; massive amounts of energy, matter and light. Where would one land us if we traveled through a black hole to the other side, a whitehole? Where would we be? Rigth now whiteholes are theoretical objects and traveling through these kinds of phenomena is theoretical, but the thinking and hard work behind such fantastic sounding ideas is why we can fly and drive cars today. It’s also why we have electricity at our fingertips. So we shouldn’t let the fact that some of these ideas are only theoretical to stop us from doing the ground work that might create a breakthrough in space travel in the future.

Being able to tease a wormhole out of the fabric of space and time may be theoretical today but there’s no reason to assume that this will always be so. Einstein’s theory of relativity already makes it theroetically possible to travel through time. No doubt even this may have been fuled by stories like The Time Machine and other science fiction stories about space travel. Who knows when this will be a reality. At some point some bright young mind will make travel through the vast distances of space possible. Einstein, Rosen, Hawking have made leaps in our understanding of these exotic phenomena in space, likely partially inspired by the imaginations of science fiction writers. After all, we are already able to travel short distances in space; to the space just outside of Earth’s atmosphere, to our own moon and we can send probes to the outer reaches of the solar system and have them bring back information for study. It is only a matter of time when humans themselves can travel through space. It may take a great deal of time but no matter. We have the great imaginations of science fiction writers and the great thinking minds of scientists to thank for out advances in space exploration. Now all we need is a new generation to make another leap forward and one of the most interesting places to start looking is science fiction work.

So, what lies on the other side of a black hole? That is the question. According to Einstein’s general relativity laws nothing can escape a black hole. But if a black hole is very, very small things are different. Stephen Hawking predicted that when it comes to mini black holes, these tiny ones radiate energy or radiation, called Hawking radiation. Hawking predicted that mini-black holes evaporate and when this happens some the information from them disappears. The laws of quantum physics says information can never really be totally destroyed. Stephen Hawking mathematically proved that that some of the information that went into these tiny blackholes never comes back This shocked the scientific community because it was assumed that all information that is trapped inside a black hole never came out again but was destoyed. but then this again brings up the possiblity of where did that informatin travel to? Did it come out through a whitehole somewhere else in space and time? Exploration of these things is what lays the groundwork for finding actual physical evidence and then finding ways to engineer the machines that we need to help us travel through space.

Is Hawking correct? Maybe he is. Chandrasekhar was right about what was later termed by Wheeler as “blackholes”, Eisenstein and Rosen made contributions to this understanding, especially Einstein, and many others have as well, like Hawking. Where this information in mini blackholes goes may be a key to understanding and unlocking the mystery of space travel. So the next time you hear about time travel on tv shows like Star Trek or Lost or read about people going to distant galaxies far, far away, just remember that centuries from now people may be doing just that – traveling through space and time.