Artistic rendition of a wormhole.

  1. Definition
  2. History
  3. Parts of a Wormhole
  4. Time Travel
  5. Are they real?
  6. Conclusion
  7. Citations

Defintion of a Wormhole
A wormhole, though sounding hypothetical, is a definite possibility in our universe. Wormholes are four-dimensional tunnels bored through the fabric of space-time itself, and they can be a universal shortcut that connects two distant regions within space. This is based on the theory that the universe is a two-dimensional plane. Wormholes would allow for the two-dimensional plane to curve, much like a piece of paper being folded in half. The wormhole works as a tube from one side of the paper to the other, or from one point in space to another, crossing over vast distances and essentially time itself.

History of Wormholes

Albert Einstein, who first proposed the idea of wormholes.
Wormholes begin all the way back to 1916 in papers Einstein wrote about his field equations, known as the Schwartzchild solution. This describes the gravitational field around a spherically-symmetric non-rotating mass. If the mass is sufficiently compact, the solution describes a form of the phenomenon now called a black hole – the Schwarzschild black hole. Austrian physicist Ludwig Flamm realized that Einstein's equations allowed a second solution, now known as a white hole, and that the two solutions, describing two different regions of (flat) spacetime were connected by a spacetime conduit. The wormhole theory was first proposed by Albert Einstein in 1935. He wrote a paper with colleague Nathan Rosen in which they showed that general relativity allowed for what they called, “bridges.” They hypothesized that there could be places where space and time are folded that allowed transfer of matter from one point to another in the universe. After a large burst of ideas in the 30's, the idea was eventually dropped from existence in the physics world for how absurd it sounded. These "wormholes" were first called Einstein-Rosen Bridges, but later the name "Wormhole" was coined by John Wheeler. Wheeler worked on a study with Robert Fuller, and prove that though Einstein and Rosen had a correct idea, they were off because the type of wormhole they theorized was extremely unstable and pinch off as soon as its made, not even allowing light to make it through. Working on all of these ideas, Kip Thorne and student Mike Morris explained in a paper that the only way to allow for wormholes to be transversable would be to have a shell of exotic matter, or negative energy, within the wormhole itself.

Parts of a Wormhole

Parts of the wormhole, including the mouth (black hole), throat (held open by negative energy), and the white hole exit.

A wormhole has many different parts that make it up. It is first formed by a black hole- the end stage of a star's life.(This cool website shows you the voyage to a blackhole and what the view may look like:Journey to a Black Hole.) The blackhole is a hole in space that sucks in all matter, including light, and has a single object in the center of it called a singularity. The singularity has no length, no width, no height, but essentially has the supermassive mass of the collapsing star. It has an incredibly large gravitational field strength, which is how it sucks everything in. However, this field strength is also so strong that it warps space itself and can alter the physical laws we know. However, wormholes are not spawned from every blachole; they are only formed from certain rare singularities, go to space-time dead ends, and last only microseconds.
Artist impression of a black hole.

The throat of the wormhole, or the tube connecting the black hole and the white hole, by itself is infinitesimally small and cannot stay open. The strength is so massive, exceeding a billion quadrillion tons per square inch. In order to counter-act this force, a theoretical substance called negative matter is needed. Negative matter would have negative mass, and therefore possess anti-gravity properties. Negative matter would line the wormhole mouths, counter-acting the crushing wave of space-time trying to force its way in.

With negative matter allowing the throat of the wormhole to be opened, it would be possible for space-ships
Another artist impression of a wormhole.
or other stellar vehicles to travel through the blackhole, through the throat and out of the white hole, to either a distant part of the universe, through time and space, or another universe all together.

Time Travel
Wormhole time travel diagram.
Time travel through a wormhole consists of one side of the wormhole starting in one point in space-time and the end point at another point in space-time . If the hole was kept open by by negative matter balancing out the matter this could keep the hole open to allow for travel through it. For this to occur one side of the wormhole would have to be accelerated to relativistic speeds creating a time dialation between the two sides; therefore creating a possibility of time travel. Although this has limitless benefits for our world as we know it and exploration of the unknown, there are immense dangers in the process of traveling through a wromhole. Brushing up against the sides of the wormhole throat would mean destruction for a ship. This occurs because the immense gravitational forces would crush the ship because it is extremely unstable. Also, too large a mass passing through a wormhole might disrupt the balance keeping it open, and this would cause the colaspe of the wormhole. Any ship caught in the mouth of a collapsing wormhole is instantly destroyed. The fate of a ship trapped inside a collapsing wormhole throat is unknown; It might be crushed, it might precipitate out somewhere in normal space, it might be launched into a different universe altogether, or it might be forever trapped in an isolated bubble of space-time with no hope of escape. For more on time travel's possibilities, visit the following website: Time Travel.

Are they real?
Black hole forming
Our understanding of wormholes has been skewed by many science fiction movies and thei representation of what they look like. The reality is that wormholes theoretically are real and can be created. Some people even believe wormhole's have been used by alien civilizations, such as in Norway ( see Norway Wormhole). Wormholes are created when a start reaches the end of its life and has a supernova which in turn creates a black hole. In real life wormholes are extremely unstable and stay open for a miniscule amount of time. The only way we could actually recognize wormholes as usuable portal through space-time would require negative matter to counter act the extreme graviety of the black holes to create a tunnel. However, scientists such as those at National Geographic believe it is a definite possibility in the near future. What we do know about wormholes is there is no deffinent boundry that it can stretch; therefore, a wormhole short as a football field or stretch across the whole universe allowing for exploration of the entire universe.

<Cool video explaining wormholes!

whsim.gifWormholes are essentially a combination of a black hole and a white hole joining together to create a portal through space-time. Originally thought up by Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen these wormholes have always been simply theoretical; however it is clear now that wormholes are a possibility in the future. If we could balan ce the extreme, unstable gravitional force and density with a negative matter white hole the newly created wormhole could allow for extensive, universal travel. In addition, by acceleration one side of this wormhole it could allow for time dialation between the two sides creating time travel. Overall, wormholes are so intriuging becuse they create limitless possibilities for the modern science world.