I was blown away by Interstellar’s depiction of a wormhole and subsequent travel through the wormhole. Sadly, it looks like such travel will stay in the science fiction realm.
Kip Thorne, an astrophysicist of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and adviser and executive producer on Interstellar, recently talked to Space.com about wormholes.
“The jury is not in, so we just don’t know,” Thorne said.
“But there are very strong indications that wormholes that a human could travel through are forbidden by the laws of physics. That’s sad, that’s unfortunate, but that’s the direction in which things are pointing.”
Why? It has to do with the inherent instability of a wormhole according to Thorne.
Not sure what exactly a wormhole is? It’s a part of Einstein’s theory of relativity. Think of it like a tunnel in space. If travel was possible, it would be an incredible shortcut across vast distances.
Wormholes are still entirely theoretical. Scientists have not made any observations of wormholes.
Thorne touched on the instability of a wormhole. “Wormholes – if you don’t have something threading through them to hold them open – the walls will basically collapse so fast that nothing can go through them,” Thorne said.
That ‘something’ would be negative energy. Quantum experiments in a lab have shown it is possible to create negative energy, but creating it on the scale necessary isn’t possible today.
Just like Interstellar, it will probably be an advanced civilization in the future that will be able to create a traversable wormhole.
Check out Space.com’s interview with Kip Thorne for more about wormholes and what led to the modern research of wormholes.
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