Dejan Stojkovic (Opens in a new tab)Professor of Physics at the University of Buffalo
Nosy Kids (Opens in a new tab) It is a series for children of all ages. If you have a question that you want an expert to answer, send it to them firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are wormholes and do they exist? – Chenglimbe Dr. , 12 years old, Silchar, Assam, India
Imagine two cities on opposite sides of a mountain. People from these cities will likely have to travel around the mountain to visit each other. But if they wanted to get there faster, they could dig a tunnel directly through the mountain to create a shortcut. This is the idea behind a wormhole.
A wormhole looks like A tunnel between two distant points (Opens in a new tab) in our area Universe That cuts travel time from one point to another. Instead of traveling for millions of years from one galaxy To another, under the right conditions, a wormhole can theoretically be used for Travel time cut off (Opens in a new tab) Down to hours or minutes.
Because wormholes are abbreviations through spacetime (Opens in a new tab)They can even act like time machines. You may exit one end of the wormhole earlier than the time you entered the other.
While scientists have no evidence that wormholes actually exist in our world, they are good tools to help astrophysicists Like me (Opens in a new tab) Think about the place and the time. They might also answer age-old questions about what the universe looked like.
real or fantasy?
Because of these interesting features, wormholes are used by many science fiction writers in novels and films. However, scientists were as fascinated by the idea of wormholes as the book did.
While researchers have not found a wormhole in our universe, scientists often see wormholes described in solutions to important physical equations. Most importantly, solutions to the equations underlying Einstein The theory of time and space and general relativity Including wormholes. This theory describes what the universe looks like and how stars, planets, and other things move throughout it. Because Einstein’s theory has been tested many times and found to be Correct every time (Opens in a new tab)Some scientists speculate that wormholes exist somewhere in the universe.
But other scientists believe that wormholes cannot exist because they would be too unstable.
The constant gravitational pull affects every object in the universe, including a land. So gravity will have an effect on wormholes, too. Scientists who doubt wormholes believe that after a short time the middle of the wormhole will occur collapsing under its own gravity (Opens in a new tab), unless it has a force pushing out from inside the wormhole to counteract that force. The most likely way to do this is to use what are called “negative energies.” Gravity Viewer (Opens in a new tab) And install the wormhole.
But as far as scientists know, negative energies can only be created in large quantities too small (Opens in a new tab) To counteract the gravity of the wormhole. It could be a file the great explosion Very small wormholes created small amounts of negative energies on the way back to the beginning of the universe, and over time these wormholes became outstretched (Opens in a new tab) As the universe expands.
Just like black holes?
While wormholes are interesting things to think about, they are still not accepted in mainstream science. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t real. black holeswhich we astrophysicists know exist in abundance in our universe, was not accepted when scientists first suggested that they exist, in the 2000s.
Einstein formulated his famous field equations for the first time in 1915, and German scientist Karl Schwarzschild found a way to describe black holes mathematically after that. only one year (Opens in a new tab). However, this description was so strange that the leading scientists of that era refused to believe that black holes could actually exist in nature. It took people 50 years to start taking black holes seriously – the term “black hole” wasn’t even coined Until 1967 (Opens in a new tab).
The same can happen with wormholes. It may take some time for scientists to come to a consensus about whether or not they might exist. But if they find solid evidence of wormholes – they may be able to do so by looking at strange motions in the star orbits (Opens in a new tab) The discovery will shape how scientists see and understand the universe.
Hello curious kids! Do you have a question you would like an expert to answer? Ask an adult to send your question to them CuriousKidsUS@theconversation.com. Please tell us your name, age and city where you live.
And since curiosity has no age limits—that is, for adults, tell us what else you’re wondering. We won’t be able to answer every question, but we will do our best.
Follow all of the Expert Voices issues and discussions – and be part of the discussion – on Facebook and Twitter. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.