Wormhole travel could be possible, but would also be really slow

wormhole travel envisioned by artist
Wormhole travel as envisioned by Les Bossinas for NASA (Cortez III Service Corp.)

A new study conducted by Daniel Jafferis and Ping Gao of Harvard University and Aron Wall of Stanford University shows that wormholes can actually exist in reality. The term wormhole was coined in 1957. Wormholes are speculative structures which link disparate points in spacetime and are based on a special solution of Einstein field equations that are solved with the help of a Jacobian matrix and determinant. It can be visualised as a double ended tunnel joining separate points in spacetime. Although they agree with the General Theory of Relativity, it is not yet certain that they are present.

The authors of the study say that although they are theoretically true, it is not useful for human beings to travel through them. The time to travel through these wormholes is supposedly more than travelling directly, hence it is not much useful for space travel. These findings will be presented by Daniel Jafferis at the 2019 American Physical Society April Meeting.

Although the inter-galactic travel may not take place soon, the finding that a wormhole can be constructed through which light could travel certainly boosts the development of the theory of quantum gravity. The significance of this finding lies in connection to the black hole information problem and the relation between gravity and quantum mechanics.

The motivation for the new theory came when Jafferis thought about two black holes which were entangled at a quantum level as stated in the ER=EPR correspondence. This signifies that the direct path between black holes is smaller than the wormhole connection, thus the wormhole travel is not the shortest path. Travelling through the wormhole can be considered as equivalent to quantum teleportation with the help of entangled black holes.

The theory was based by Jafferis on a setup which was first devised by Albert Einstein and Rosen back in 1935, that consisted of a connection between black holes. Since the wormhole can be traversed through, it was a special case where information could have been derived from a black hole.

The theory gives an insight into regions which would have been behind a horizon otherwise. The major hurdle till now in formulating wormholes which can be traversed through has been the necessity for negative energy, which was inconsistent with the idea of quantum gravity. However, this problem has been overcome by Jafferis with the help of quantum field theory tools.

Jafferis feels that this revelation will help in learning deep concepts about gravity correspondence and also ways to formulate quantum mechanics.


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