Post by Minna Krejci
Quiz time: What do Donnie Darko, Star Trek, A Wrinkle in Time, Contact, and Stargate have in common?
I’ll give you a hint:
The concept of the wormhole is popular in science fiction — wormholes make it possible to travel across the universe within the span of a human lifetime. (To put things into perspective: if we traveled at the fastest speed recorded by a manmade object — set by the Helios 2 spacecraft at 150,000 miles/hr — it would take us 19,000 years to get to the closest star to our solar system, Proxima Centauri, 4.22 light years from Earth.)
Wormholes provide a shortcut through space and time. While wormholes have never actually been observed outside of science fiction, the theory of general relativity allows for the existence of these kinds of structures. We can visualize “spacetime” as a 2D sheet bent back on itself, with a wormhole “bridge” connecting two distant regions:
Recent calculations suggest that advanced civilizations might be able to make wormholes work by using something called “exotic matter,” which has a negative energy, to prevent a wormhole from collapsing on itself. If such “traversable” wormholes exist, then they hypothetically could allow for time travel. (Just hypothetically, at least for now.)