Physicists Discover the Astonishing Power of Wormholes Enabling Time Travel
Theoretical physicists share a common trait with lawyers—they meticulously search for loopholes and inconsistencies in rules that could potentially be exploited. Valeri P. Frolov and Andrei Zelnikov from the University of Alberta, along with Pavel Krtouš from Charles University, have not found a way to help you evade a traffic fine. However, their research may have uncovered intriguing possibilities within the laws of physics, potentially enabling time travel and altering past events.
Wormholes, hypothetical shortcuts through spacetime, have not been officially recognized as features of the universe. Nevertheless, scientists have been intrigued for nearly a century by the notion that the fabric of the cosmos, as described by relativity, could allow quantum ripples or even particles to transcend their local confines.
In the realm of imagination, these cosmic reconfigurations could facilitate the transportation of human-sized masses across vast distances in an instant, spanning galaxies or time itself as effortlessly as one moves through their own kitchen.
Moreover, delving into the more exotic aspects of spacetime behavior can guide speculation regarding the enigmatic intersection of quantum physics and the general theory of relativity.
Conceptually, wormholes can be visualized as mere shapes. In our daily lives, we are accustomed to dealing with one-dimensional lines, two-dimensional drawings, and three-dimensional objects. We can intuitively fold, reshape, and puncture holes in them.
Physics grants us the ability to investigate transformations in situations that are not intuitively accessible. On the quantum scale, the effects of quantum mechanics introduce flexibility to concepts of distance and time.
On a much grander scale, the interplay between spacetime and gravity leads to contractions and expansions that defy comprehension without resorting to complex equations. For instance, if an immense amount of mass is concentrated in one location, spacetime will curve, creating two outer surfaces connected by a wormhole.
Although matter itself cannot traverse this mathematical construct, there is speculation that entangled objects on either side would remain linked.
Throughout the years, scientists have searched for conceivable and theoretical scenarios that would permit quantum effects and even entire particles to navigate through the extraordinary topologies of spacetime unharmed.
The groundbreaking proposal by Frolov, Krtouš, and Zelnikov involves a type of wormhole known as a ring wormhole, which was initially described in 2016 by physicists Gary Gibbons from the University of Cambridge and Mikhail Volkov from the University of Tours.
Dissimilar to the spherical distortions we typically associate with black holes, the ring wormhole proposed by Gibbons and Volkov connects regions of the Universe, or potentially even different universes, that possess a flat spacetime geometry.
By incorporating duality rotations, which involve the interaction of electric and magnetic fields, and employing specific transformations, masses arranged in ring formations can generate fascinating distortions in an otherwise flat spacetime.
Thus, a hole in the fabric of the Universe emerges, providing a connection to a distant location.
Frolov, Krtouš, and Zelnikov conducted various analyses of this concept. They explored the impact of an additional non-moving mass on the ring, as well as the implications of having both the entry ring and the exit ring situated within the same universe.
Their investigations yielded solutions that involved a closed timelike curve—a trajectory along which an object or a ray of light returns to the exact same point, not only in space but also in time.
Before embarking on a paradoxical journey to the future and back, it is crucial to acknowledge the numerous obstacles that could prevent such a loop. The late physicist Stephen Hawking expressed skepticism towards the feasibility of such endeavors.
Nevertheless, who knows? With the assistance of a cosmic advocate, it is possible that we could challenge the notion of a one-way trip into the future, armed with the aid of a massive pair of interconnected rings.
This research is available on preprint server arXiv and has been accepted to be published in Physical Review D.
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