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Wormholes - Let's have a look at them

A brief look at wormholes, what they are and whether they really exist.

By AlexRider Fri 14 Jul, 2023 1:48 PM
Wormholes - A closer look

Wormholes are a fascinating concept that has captured the imagination of scientists and science fiction enthusiasts for decades. These hypothetical structures are believed to be shortcuts through space-time, allowing for faster-than-light travel and the potential for interstellar travel. But what are wormholes, and how do they work?

What is a wormhole?

Wormholes, also known as Einstein-Rosen bridges, are theoretical tunnels that connect two separate points in space-time. They were first proposed in the early 20th century by the German physicist Albert Einstein and his colleague Nathan Rosen, as a solution to Einstein's general theory of relativity. According to this theory, gravity is not a force that pulls objects together, but rather a curvature of space-time caused by the presence of mass and energy.

Einstein and Rosen realized that it might be possible to create a bridge between two separate points in space-time by warping space-time in a particular way. This would involve creating a "throat" in space-time that connects two separate points, with the entrance and exit of the wormhole located at the two endpoints. The concept was purely theoretical at the time, and it was not until the 1960s that physicist John Wheeler coined the term "wormhole" to describe these structures.

So, how do wormholes work?

The basic idea is that if you could somehow create a wormhole, you could travel through it and emerge at the other end of the universe almost instantly, without having to travel the vast distances in between. This would make interstellar travel feasible, as you could travel between distant star systems in a matter of seconds or minutes, rather than years or centuries.

However, there are many challenges to creating and using wormholes. One of the biggest challenges is the amount of energy required to create and maintain a stable wormhole. The energy required would be equivalent to the mass of a star, making it almost impossible to create using our current technology.

Another challenge is the stability of the wormhole. Any small disturbance could cause the wormhole to collapse, trapping anyone inside. There is also the issue of what happens to anything that enters a wormhole. It is unclear whether a wormhole would act like a tunnel, with objects passing through unscathed, or whether they would be crushed or torn apart by the intense gravitational forces involved.

Perhaps in the future...

Despite these challenges, scientists continue to study wormholes as a possible means of interstellar travel. Some scientists believe that it may be possible to stabilize a wormhole using exotic matter or negative energy, and research in these areas is ongoing. While the creation of a stable wormhole remains a distant dream, the study of these structures continues to provide fascinating insights into the nature of space-time and the universe as a whole.

Wormholes in the Star Trek universe

In the Star Trek universe, wormholes are often used as a means of faster-than-light travel. However, the way they work in the show is not necessarily based on the same scientific principles as real-world wormholes.

In Star Trek, wormholes are often depicted as naturally occurring phenomena that can be used as a shortcut through space-time. They are typically represented as swirling, colorful vortexes that can be entered and exited by starships. Unlike real-world wormholes, Star Trek's wormholes do not require enormous amounts of energy to create or maintain, and they are often portrayed as stable structures that can be used repeatedly.

One example of a wormhole in the Star Trek universe is the Bajoran wormhole, which connects the Alpha Quadrant to the Gamma Quadrant. This wormhole is depicted as a stable structure that is guarded by an ancient race of beings known as the Prophets. Starships can travel through the wormhole by flying into the vortex, which will transport them to the other side of the galaxy almost instantly.

Another example of a wormhole in Star Trek is the Transwarp Conduit, which is used by the Borg to travel through space. This wormhole is depicted as a glowing green tunnel that can be entered and exited by Borg cubes. Like the Bajoran wormhole, the Transwarp Conduit is a stable structure that can be used repeatedly.

It's important to note that while wormholes in Star Trek are not necessarily based on real-world scientific principles, they do serve as a useful plot device for the show's writers. By using wormholes as a means of faster-than-light travel, the show is able to explore distant parts of the galaxy and tell exciting stories that would not be possible otherwise.

What do you think about this article and would you dare enter the XYZ-Quadrant using a wormhole? Please let us know in the comments below!

1 Comment
Fri 14 Jul, 2023 4:35 PM
Great article - but… I checked with Kai Winn and wormhole is most definitely the heavenly gateway to the celestial temple - home of the prophets, she was quite firm about that…she also mentioned that any other explanation would be blasphemy - and the safety of the teacher might be in doubt if they persisted with any other explanation... Wink