WASHINGTON, DC, Nov 23 — If you don’t know what a wormhole is, just watch any of the “Stargate” movies or TV series online. They are science fiction, of course, but they are based on real-life scientific research. The science of wormhole technology is very real, indeed.
While it may not be possible to achieve in our time, if it ever becomes a reality, brave intergalactic travelers may someday be able to park their spaceships in the garage and travel to planets far, far away in the blink of an eye by simply dialing up coordinates of some brave new world and catapulting themselves through a wormhole in a short — a very short — span of time. It’s not going to happen in our generation and probably not in the next generation. In fact, it may never happen since the actual existence of wormholes in space has not yet been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Scientific American magazine notes that the original idea of a wormhole came from physicists Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen, co-authors of the Theory of Relativity. “They studied the strange equations that we now know describe that unescapable pocket of space we call a black hole and asked what they really represented.” In other words, they found that it is possible that wormholes could be tunnels in space through which humans might travel. The magazine describes it this way: “the journey might be as if you went down the drain of your bathtub, and instead of getting stuck in the pipes, you came out into another tub just like the first.”
To be clear, the difference between a black hole and a wormhole is that you might be able to enter a black hole, but you’d be stuck inside forever. A wormhole would theoretically let you in and let you out when you reach your destination. But, according to some physicists, wormholes might be found inside a black hole. The academic journal, The Conversation reports that “The idea that galaxies can harbor wormholes at their centers is not new. Take the case of the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way. This was discovered by painstakingly tracking of the orbits of the stars near the black hole, a major achievement which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2020. But one recent paper has suggested this gravitational pull may instead be caused by a wormhole.”
Bearing in mind that the actual existence of wormholes has not been proven, new scientific studies indicate that they likely do exist and that they might, just might, someday, allow humans to get from point A — Earth — to point B — a far off galaxy.
But if it is eventually possible, the side effect for humans who might travel through a wormhole in a flash—could potentially experience an accelerated rate of aging on such a voyage, according to astrophysicist Ethan Siegel. In an article published in Forbes magazine a few years ago, he posed the notion that if an earthling was to travel through a wormhole, he or she might be traveling at speeds approaching the speed of light. As he put it: “Due to time dilation and length contraction, you might reach your destination in only a year, and then come back in just another year. But back on Earth, 82 years would have passed. Everyone you know would have aged tremendously.”
The scientific search for wormholes may give us a fascinating picture of what the future might hold in store for mankind. But the question is: of what practical use are wormholes in the here-and-now? The answer: it provides us with an ocean of entertainment and employment for hundreds of authors, screenwriters, and actors who produce wormhole-based books, TV shows, and movies about what they call the Stargate. Oh, yeah, wormholes also provide content for numerous Websites such as GateWorld, which describes itself as “your complete guide to Stargate.” According to them, there are at least three wormhole-themed television series providing more than 350 episodes—enough to keep TV binge-watchers with plenty of content to help them stay awake at night.
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