What would happen if you flew into a wormhole? Would you ever hear back? Where would you end up? Back in time?Another galaxy? Here’s what would happen if a wormhole formed in our Solar System.
You’ve probably heard of wormholes from Thor, Interstellar, Star Trek, or if you’re really old school, Albert Einstein. In 1935, Albert Einstein and physicist Nathan Rosen came up with the idea of bridges in space time!
An Einstein–Rosen Bridge, or a wormhole, is also a shortcut… through space time! A wormhole is less like a bridge and more like a tunnel. It’s a tunnel that links two different points in space time.
And if you were to pass through it, you could end up in a different galaxy, a different universe, or 14th century Europe! But only if you found a way to keep the wormhole from collapsing on you.
The trouble is, no one’s ever seen a wormhole before. And we probably won’t find one any time soon. The other problem is that if wormholes do exist in our solar system, they’re probably microscopic.
Any wormhole that could accommodate human travel would require a crazy amount of mass. Think about it, the smallest black hole is thought to be the size of an atom, but with a mass of a mountain. So while we can’t really calculate the mass of a wormhole that could fit a few of us and a space ship, just know that it would be astronomical.
And it’s gravitational pull would probably re-direct the tilt and rotation of all the planets in our solar system.
But things would go back to normal soon enough.
Wormholes are incredibly unstable and are prone to collapse quickly. This is because the walls of a wormhole attract each other, which is why the wormhole would probably close shortly after it opened. Unless, you had some exotic matter.
Don’t get too excited. Exotic matter is negative energy. And it’s what you’d need in order to repel the gravitational forces trying to bring the walls of the wormhole together. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that such matter even exists in our universe.
But if you’re already set on making a trip across the universe, there’s just one more thing you should know.
The laws of physics say that you wouldn’t be able to put enough negative energy into a wormhole to keep it from collapsing.
But on the bright side, that rule hasn’t been tested yet! So giddy-up space cowboy! Ride on, prove their existence, and we’ll try to develop the necessary technology in your absence. But even if we could create wormholes and travel through them, would it be worth it?
Subscribe to What-If on Youtube or follow the show on Facebook Watch.