Not Science Fiction: German Physicists Say Traversable Wormholes Possible

Wormhole Artist's Illustration

German physicists explore the possibility of tunnels in spacetime.

Wormholes play a key role in many science fiction films — often as a shortcut between two distant points in space. In physics, however, these tunnels in spacetime have remained purely hypothetical. An international team led by Dr. Jose Luis Blázquez-Salcedo of the University of Oldenburg has now presented a new theoretical model in the science journal Physical Review Letters that makes microscopic wormholes seem less far-fetched than in previous theories.

Wormholes, like black holes, appear in the equations of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, published in 1916. An important postulate of Einstein’s theory is that the universe has four dimensions — three spatial dimensions and time as the fourth dimension. Together they form what is known as spacetime, and spacetime can be stretched and curved by massive objects such as stars, much as a rubber sheet would be curved by a metal ball sinking into it. The curvature of spacetime determines the way objects like spaceships and planets, but also light, move within it.

“In theory, spacetime could also be bent and curved without massive objects,” says Blázquez-Salcedo, who has since transferred to the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain. In this scenario, a wormhole would be an extremely curved region in spacetime that resembles two interconnected funnels and connects two distant points in space, like a tunnel. “From a mathematical perspective such a shortcut would be possible, but no one has ever observed a real wormhole,” the physicist explains.

Moreover, such a wormhole would be unstable. If for example, a spaceship were to fly into one, it would instantly collapse into a black hole — an object in which matter disappears, never to be seen again. The connection it provided to other places in the universe would be cut off. Previous models suggest that the only way to keep the wormhole open is with an exotic form of matter that has a negative mass, or in other words weighs less than nothing, and which only exists in theory.

However, Blázquez-Salcedo and his colleagues Dr. Christian Knoll from the University of Oldenburg and Eugen Radu from the Universidade de Aveiro in Portugal demonstrate in their model that wormholes could also be traversable without such matter.

The researchers chose a comparatively simple “semiclassical” approach. They combined elements of relativity theory with elements of quantum theory and classic electrodynamics theory. In their model, they consider certain elementary particles such as electrons and their electric charge as the matter that is to pass through the wormhole. As a mathematical description, they chose the Dirac equation, a formula that describes the probability density function of a particle according to quantum theory and relativity as a so-called Dirac field.

As the physicists report in their study, it is the inclusion of the Dirac field into their model that permits the existence of a wormhole traversable by matter, provided that the ratio between the electric charge and the mass of the wormhole exceeds a certain limit. In addition to matter, signals — for example electromagnetic waves — could also traverse the tiny tunnels in spacetime. The microscopic wormholes postulated by the team would probably not be suitable for interstellar travel. Moreover, the model would have to be further refined to find out whether such unusual structures could actually exist. “We think that wormholes can also exist in a complete model,” says Blázquez-Salcedo.

Reference: “Traversable Wormholes in Einstein-Dirac-Maxwell Theory” by Jose Luis Blázquez-Salcedo, Christian Knoll and Eugen Radu, 9 March 2021, Physical Review Letters.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.126.101102

The scientists conducted the research for their paper within the Research Training Group “Models of Gravity” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). It is headed by Oldenburg physicist Prof. Dr. Jutta Kunz together with Prof. Dr. Claus Lämmerzahl from the Centre of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM) at the University of Bremen. In addition to the University of Oldenburg, several other universities and research institutions are also involved in the programme.

12 Comments on "Not Science Fiction: German Physicists Say Traversable Wormholes Possible"

  1. Xinhang Shen | March 12, 2021 at 7:32 pm | Reply

    Unfortunately, the foundation is wrong as Einstein’s relativity has already been disproved. Special relativity uses Lorentz Transformation to redefine time and space but the newly defined time is no longer the physical time measured with physical clocks, but a fake time. Thus, there is no such thing called spacetime in nature, not to mention the black holes, worm holes of spacetime.

    We know time is a concept abstracted from the status changes of physical processes such as the change of the view angle of the sun, the increase of the height of a tree, the distance that a car has driven, the biological age of a person, the number of cycles of a clock, etc. All the changes of the statuses of physical processes are the products of time and changing rates. The effect of time can never be shown without the help of a status changing rate. Every physical clock records the number of cycles of a periodical process and uses this number to indirectly calculate the elapsed time. The number of cycles is the product of time and frequency (i.e. changing rate). In special relativity, when observed from a stationary frame, relativistic time of a moving frame does become shorter but the relativistic frequency of a clock on the moving frame becomes faster to make the product of relativistic time and relativistic frequency unchanged compared with that of the stationary clock. That is, clock time is still absolute and independent of reference frames in special relativity. Thus relativistic time is not the clock time i.e. our physical time but a fake time and relativistic kinetic time dilation won’t be found on any physical clock or any other physical process. Based on such a fake time, special relativity is wrong.

    • The 10th Man | March 13, 2021 at 6:28 am | Reply

      Off course this article is a working theory. Every article on physics is just a working theory. Only 1% of our physic’s is true knowledge. The rest is just theory we are thinking about. Our math really is infantile. If we’re going to pierce the Veil, then new math from AI is probably the way forward.

    • Disproved by conspiracy theorists? :O

  2. Bill Riemers | March 13, 2021 at 9:45 am | Reply

    Interesting concept. As near as I can tell by combining the Dirac equation they are attempting to mix the results where it is predicted quantum tunnelling can be FTL with wormholes. Unfortunately the Dirac equation isn’t really valid with general relativity, only special relativity. So the results while interesting are not really valid. At best they are a clue about what valid results might look like.

  3. Bill Riemers | March 13, 2021 at 9:50 am | Reply

    Unfortunately the Dirac equation is not consistent with General Relativity. So at best this is just a hint. But the results are consistent with the ER=EPR conjecture, so they merit further refinement.

  4. Right, exactly, time itself.. Is nit really a dimension. Its a statistic. Its not tangible. Its a figment of our imaginations as other species couls perceive time in different increments then we do.. Not sure but what we are really talking about here is… Can i go from one place to another in the universe without getting their linearly… The answer is.. Only if all points in space are interconnected by a “timeless” medium. A medium that when the two points connect, time literally stops for that void in space in the tunnel it creates and i believe at this point.. Only mass in the form of EM energy could pass through.. Because EM energy is ageless in its own right, moving at the speed of light. Its just a theory.. But what else could make such a connection?

  5. I’m not trying to pick a fight because you’d probably run circles around me with respect to knowledge of these theories, but haven’t there been many recent observations confirming black holes and other aspects of relativity?

    Also, with perception of time, isn’t the idea of relativity that different observers perceive time differently? Because the speed of light is fixed, someone who is farther away, or moving at a faster speed, will perceive the passage of time differently than someone who is still or closer?

  6. Frosted Flake | March 14, 2021 at 8:57 am | Reply

    FTL Radio. Interesting. Also interesting : mixing bits of different theories I thought incompatible. But, upon review, it seems I think so mostly because Einstein spent most of his life on that trail, and didn’t succeed. Einstein was pretty smart. But he didn’t have a computer.

  7. … people say many thing, so do scientists too..

  8. The Carrier of The Light | March 15, 2021 at 12:28 am | Reply

    It is currently beyond our species’ ability to actually fathom the true mathematical formulae relevant to the space time question and linear time travel. Dirac field inclusion into a model which combines several theoretical elements is a good beginning on the journey to understanding the nature of dark matter and quantum particles, relevant to wormholes and black holes. However, we are light years away from that final equation.

  9. Absolute Fool | March 15, 2021 at 3:16 pm | Reply

    Amongst the finer points of the general theory that receives little attention is the requirement that all astrophysicists travel to Antarctica & romp in the NUDE!!!

  10. Eleanor Roosevelt | March 15, 2021 at 3:18 pm | Reply

    Kiss me, you fools!

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