In a new, unreviewed paper, researchers suggest the conditions that could have created stable wormholes.
By applying quantum ideas to standard gravity, the researchers were able to satisfy the requirements to make a traversable wormhole.
Their solution is for a pseudosphere instead of a sphere, making the math more amenable.
Could the first stable wormholes be more like ... real worms? The wormhole design that could eventually succeed is tiny and strangely shaped, Iranian researchers say. No word on whether these wormholes will appear only after a rainfall.
The hypothetical wormhole, of any shape or stability, is the result of two black holes that end up touching. But that means anything that crosses the threshold of either end is immediately sucked into the infinitely dense heart of one black hole or the other, never to return.
The series of conditions that would avoid an infinite, well, suckage past dual event horizons involves an escalating series of impossibilities based on the idea that general relativity basically doesn’t apply at all. The wormhole must be held open by a material with negative mass, for example. Right now, we don’t know of anything that fits the criteria.
Now, those impossibilities also have a shape. In a new paper not yet reviewed for print, researchers studied ways to use quantum physics phenomena to describe how a wormhole might function. The secret is that an impossible black hole under general relativity is “improved” into a supportable quantum black hole.
The researchers improve the coupling constant, which refers to a quantum phenomenon of the way particles interact, by fine tuning it with a new mathematical formula. The result is called “antiscreening running coupling.”
The researchers studied this solution for both spherical and pseudospherical wormholes. Though these two terms sound related, think of them more like a science and a pseudoscience: almost complete opposites. A pseudosphere looks like two trumpet bells pressed together, or a child’s spinning top. The curvature is concave instead of convex like a sphere, and the math is much more complex.
Plugging in a pseudosphere instead of a sphere, with the previously zhuzhed numbers to reflect the new running constant, turns out a black hole “that saves the causal structure, satisfies null energy condition, and the matter is non–exotic,” the scientists explain. Exotic matter includes hypothetical stuff that does have negative mass, for example. Finding a solution that doesn’t rely on positing the existence of an exotic matter makes the wormhole a little more feasible.
The caveat here is the researchers believe they’re describing a situation that could have happened at the nano scale and near the very absolute beginning of time. “It has to be noted that such a traversable wormhole is not at the astrophysical scales. It is a quantum wormhole, applicable in the very early universe,” they explain. That means very tiny and when the universe itself was tiny as well.
In this delicate but stable hypothetical wormhole, a “passenger” can travel through the wormhole, but how possible that is—and what it looks like—varies as the passenger particle approaches the “throat” of the wormhole.
The same way particles travel through tunnels created in quantum computers and other current schemata, they could have snuck through very tiny pseudospherical wormholes in the primordial space ooze, using quantum gravity as their guide.
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