An artists impression of what it would look like inside a wormhole. Pretty. (credit: Space.com)

Forget Black Holes, How Do You Find A Wormhole?

Article Updated: 26 Dec , 2015
by

Finding a black hole is an easy task… compared with searching for a wormhole. Suspected black holes have a massive gravitational effect on planets, stars and even galaxies, generating radiation, producing jets and accretion disks. Black holes will even bend light through gravitational lensing. Now, try finding a wormhole… Any ideas? Well, a Russian researcher thinks he has found an answer, but a highly sensitive radio telescope plus a truckload of patience (I’d imagine) is needed to find a special wormhole signature…

A wormhole connecting two points within spacetime.
Wormholes are a valid consequence of Einstein’s general relativity view on the universe. A wormhole, in theory, acts as a shortcut or tunnel through space and time. There are several versions on the same theme (i.e. wormholes may link different universes; they may link the two separate locations in the same universe; they may even link black and white holes together), but the physics is similar, wormholes create a link two locations in space-time, bypassing normal three dimensional travel through space. Also, it is theorized, that matter can travel through some wormholes fuelling sci-fi stories like in the film Stargate or Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. If wormholes do exist however, it is highly unlikely that you’ll find a handy key to open the mouth of a wormhole in your back yard, they are likely to be very elusive and you’ll probably need some specialist equipment to travel through them (although this will be virtually impossible).

Alexander Shatskiy, from the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow, has an idea how these wormholes may be observed. For a start, they can be distinguished from black holes, as wormhole mouths do not have an event horizon. Secondly, if matter could possibly travel through wormholes, light certainly can, but the light emitted will have a characteristic angular intensity distribution. If we were viewing a wormhole’s mouth, we would be witness to a circle, resembling a bubble, with intense light radiating from the inside “rim”. Looking toward the center, we would notice the light sharply dim. At the center we would notice no light, but we would see right through the mouth of the wormhole and see stars (from our side of the universe) shining straight through.

For the possibility to observe the wormhole mouth, sufficiently advanced radio interferometers would be required to look deep into the extreme environments of galactic cores to distinguish this exotic cosmic ghost from its black hole counterpart.

However, just because wormholes are possible does not mean they do exist. They could simply be the mathematical leftovers of general relativity. And even if they do exist, they are likely to be highly unstable, so any possibility of traveling through time and space will be short lived. Besides, the radiation passing through will be extremely blueshifted, so expect to burn up very quickly. Don’t pack your bags quite yet…

Source: arXiv publication


54 Responses

  1. Titan says:

    Its nice to know that mankind has finally decided to challenge the impossible.Cosmologists were obssesd with black holes while they were ignoring and even questioning the existance of Wormholes.Its time to take the existance of wormholes seriously.Their effects on the galaxy and the expanding universe cannot be ignored.

  2. dutchartistjelke says:

    There are many wormholes like black holes we know they exit in our universe and there are many other dimensions ,other dimensions feed our universe with energy and our universe feed the other dimensions if one universe become to big it will float over in a empty place between this dimensions and a new universe will be born there was never a big boom like science may say a new universe it start throughout a door point maybe throughout a black hole or a wormhole ,energy will float over and build a new universe also a old universe will become empty It be a eternal living circle,
    Be it divine I think so someone or something must have started it Eternity have no time .Science says billions of years our universe started but where it came from?Atheist say
    it all be a mechanical evolution but whom or what let it grow, change and develop that way .

    D.A.J

  3. chrix says:

    I think worm hole does exist because there must be a back door or alternative door to a different dimension, maybe our dreams that we have all night is actually the events that is happening in the other dimensions….well so the question is now how to hunt this holes..?

  4. Qubix says:

    “maybe our dreams that we have all night is actually the events that is happening in the other dimensions”

    Don’t be so naive. Dreams have nothing to do with worm holes. Dreams are just results of the brain working overtime…because the only time the brain takes a rest, is when we’re dead.
    I do think there might be some possibility of the existence of wormholes, but they could also be a mathematical leftover, just like it is mentioned in the article.

  5. Chuck Lam says:

    Worm holes? Maybe! More than likely not! I believe there are only four dimensions to deal with. It appears all else is fantasy. based on math aberrations.

  6. Molecular says:

    Are we so smart that we cannot fathom the thought of some alien civilization, millions of years ahead of us, possessing the capabilities to make use of a wormhole? I surely hope not.

  7. Rev. says:

    … OOOhhhhhhhhhhhhooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

  8. Rev. says:

    What’s that sound? Du’no… but sounds like a “screaming banchee”… “Whoooa pilgrim get a grip on yer’ whiskey glass, before you a’searching fer a wormhole…”

  9. Matthew Skrzypczak says:

    We can’t even leave Earth yet on a regular basis without something screwing up.
    Sure NASA is filled with top minds, but if they made 136 million dollar error through faulty conversion…wtf.
    Until there’s an efficient and cost effective way to travel outside of our Earth, I seriously doubt we need to worry about wormholes.
    I honestly think it would be cooler to look at the Earth from a distance within my life time, rather than find out in 50 years “We may have found a wormhole, but now we need the technology to make it out of Earth on a regular basis”

  10. CraigB says:

    I’ve discovered a black hole….It resides in Chrix’s head.

  11. Paul Freedman says:

    If light is transmitted through a wormhole, and we can see stars in the centre, as explained in the article, that means the light is transmitted in an “orderly fashion”, meaning that the light is not scattered. Scattering of light renders it impossible ro recreate an image on the other side. But if it is true, then matter (at least seperate atoms or molecules) could very well also be transported in an “orderly fashion”. Now as a Stargate Fan, i know that in the series they postulate that matter passing through the artificial “event horizon” of the stargate is broken down into a matterstream and transmitted through the wormhole, and recontructed on the other side. Also quatum state and velocity and direction are encoded in the matterstream. I know this is something deemed impossible by scientists at present, but who knows we just may be able to control all these things a a few eons from now. After all, who thought the roll-up screens in Earth:final conflict would be possible? well they are now….

  12. Richie says:

    Forget blackholes & wormholes, there are none near enough for us to worry about… What we should be worrying about is mess we are making of earths atmosphere…

  13. Pedro says:

    If light travels trhu a wormhole, surelly it wil be subject to a massive influence of gravity. In other words, similar to light in the neighbourhood of a blackhole, time will slow down, won’t it? Does that mean that they could be doorways, or windows, to a distant time – past or future, depending on wich side of the hole we are?

  14. lamb of god says:

    i think its cool we are finally breaking the mold of our current way of thinking and beliveing the universe is as easy as building blocks in a lego set. there are plenty of things out there we don’t understand, and unfortunately i wont be around to understand them when we finally do. but being a star wars fan i would love to see some hyperspace travel, oh yea
    check out this website and help make a difference
    http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com

  15. Peter K says:

    Matthew and Richie, how about we all bury ourselves in our own mundane worries and forget astronomy altogether? Much better. Who needs to strive for something beyond the common experience? Please, we’re on this site because we are interested in something grander, bigger than just our own personal experience.
    And Dutchart, punctuation doesn’t hurt. Please, don’t bother writing if you can’t be bothered to be understood.
    I wish the article had included more information. How can you see stars through a wormhole that are on “our side”. Aren’t those just in front of the hole? What might generate a wormhole? Couldn’t that just be another black hole? It obviously has to have a massive gravity well to unite two sides of an even bigger bend in space! And Freedman, you’re right, if light comes through cohesively, then we should be able to reassemble matter even if it is stretched out first…afterall, didn’t some physicist postulate that no information can be entirely lost? Maybe people will never go through, but maybe goods or probes?

  16. alastair says:

    Seems some of the people here need to learn to distinguish fantasy from reality.

    The mathematical wormholes of general relativity bear scant relation to the wormholes in bad sci-fi like Star Trek or Stargate (which I enjoy watching as much as the next guy, but both shows have almost as many holes in their science as they do in their respective plots). Even more plausible efforts like Peter F. Hamilton’s recent Commonwealth trilogy take considerable liberties I think.

    I’d be as excited as anyone else if it turned out that we could use wormholes for transit, but I think in practice we’re much more likely to be limited to real space. In sci-fi terms, the future may be much more Alastair Reynolds and much less Gene Roddenberry.

  17. Steve says:

    Im all for the search for worm holes, but why not put money into something we know exists that can be attained in the next half century. There will be plenty of time to search for this if we don’t kill overselves in the next 50 years.

  18. Dark Gnat says:

    Once upon a time, no one believed that black holes could exist either.

    Then we looked for them.

    We should not exclude the possibility. Mathematics predicts them, just as mathematic predicted black holes.

    They may exist, they may not exist, but we should at least try to find out. Even if can never use them, they could be very valuable to science.

  19. Kishkumen says:

    I have yet to see the math whereby anything w/rest mass can travel through a wormhole w/o causing it to collapse. Even a single atom or cosmic radiation will do the trick. Though they may mathematically exist, their existence is so short lived, they evolve quickly into black holes at the first sign of matter entering them. I seriously doubt we will find them just open and remaining open for any sustainable worthwhile time length.

  20. John Mendenhall says:

    Hmm. And what do we see if we look down into one of those jets coming from the poles of a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy, in the moment before the radiation obliterates us?

  21. Schiz says:

    “Worm holes? Maybe! More than likely not! I believe there are only four dimensions to deal with. It appears all else is fantasy. based on math aberrations.”

    First of all, wormholes in general relativity do not need more than 4 dimensions, so your argument is illogical.

    Secondly, belief is the death of science. Never believe, always doubt. Always question.

  22. Flash Gordon says:

    You’re saying I went through a wormhole and not a blackhole?

    So many years… wasted.

  23. Drewsmosis says:

    i have to agree with those who are saying that we should worry about things that most concern us, or atleat things that we can reach first and then exercise the rest of our availible time on these issues

  24. joe says:

    What was it 15 years ago they finally agreed that there might be black holes and now every galaxy has one at the center. Give wormholes a chance.

  25. Titan says:

    I think most of the people who read this article think that we have other matters of importance than something as interestsing as a discovery of a wormhole.Maybe this kind of thinking is the reason for the slow technological progress of mankind as a species.We need to think out of the box.How long are we going to push such important things for future generations.Concidering the quantum leaps of technology and understanding of science in the last 18th and 19th century we are suppose to be at phase 1 in technological advancement but we are still at phase 0.If our species has to advance then we need to think radically.There is no such thing as Science-fiction.

  26. John R says:

    Nothing like mention of wormhole to bring out the LOONEYS

  27. Nick says:

    Inside the boundaries of a black hole, time stops, and you’d need to shoot out of there at the speed of light to escape the gravity. You’d probably be surprised to discover that an eternity had passed out here, meantime, where time had been normally drifting by. The wormhole sounds like even more fun. You shoot through it and may end up standing on a concrete, six-lane highway in another universe where you collide with a jalopy that looks suspiciously like a 1936 Ford. The first thing you’d notice is that folks in that universe must have built fancy highways before they invented their Ford, because their Science knew what was coming. As our Science has evolved, we also know pretty much what’s coming. The difference is that we want what’s ours now, not tomorrow. ANy questions?

  28. Bridh Hancock says:

    I think that the technology required to pursue WormHoles may be deployed in much other enquiry and discovery. Good; and go for it!

    I agree with Peter K’s comments on the Earth-Onlyists and Dutchart; so do check your e-mails, or, perhaps better, get them checked by someone competent in English expression. Two minds can make something great of something second rate.

    I wonder what relationship there will be found to be between WormHoles and WarmHoles and DarkMatter and DarkEnergy? Hmmm?

  29. Ted says:

    Some of the folks on here must be from Afghanistan. Well, the earth is not flat and yes we should look for wormholes. This does not mean that we drop all other matters that concern us. It is not LOONEY to imagine and seek out new facts.

  30. Gort says:

    Wormholes are how flying saucers are able to get to Texas.

  31. dutchartistjelke says:

    over the word fantasie and reality ,

    What people that have lived a hunderd years ago must have thought about ,

    planes ,flat tv , mobiel phone ,trip to the moon,new hart ,new growing cells and so on .

    Yes all fantasie no reality where are we living? in the past?.

    What about our earht !,nothing have changed some people like to believe us .

    because it be all about money and oil the same with war.

    so what be reality and what be fantasie

  32. akash says:

    These are nothing but hypothesis.This nothing but theoretical aspect of general theory.So we cannot call it as warm hole.It is also not possible whether this hole do exists

  33. Rev. says:

    “Gort, Klaatu Barada Nikto�

  34. dave says:

    The fact that GR permits wormholes seems to me justification to look for them.

    Also – it would make reading these comments a lot easier if the contributors would read them back and spell check them – correcting mistakes before hitting the ‘Submit Comment’ button.

  35. Gort says:

    REV, I will not destroy Earth. I just wanna have a little fun with Texas.

  36. mollycunneen says:

    Perhaps the author would add today in back of the word impossible. There are hundreds if not thousands of things common today that were impossible just 20 years ago.

  37. Supreme Earth Onlyist says:

    General relativity, “black holes”, “worm holes” and the hocus pocus “gravity” it predicts are lies on a scale that would make the Bush Administration blush.

  38. Shepard says:

    well this isnt about The Universe SRRY,but ive been here before.ANd still do:D um i was going to ask… if my tooth has a grayish color is it a root Canal??
    just a question i hope its ok to say it here

  39. John R says:

    I knew it I just knew it George W isn’t from Texas after all.
    Though I didn’t literally mean that wormholes brought out this looney.

  40. Chiya says:

    That sounds brilliant, if you can actually see through to somewhere else in the universe.

  41. N Stone says:

    remember that the four dimensions do not limit us in any way, they are a way of thought more than fact

  42. N Stone says:

    imagine the extreme crazy new breakthroughs mankind could make if we could find out what could make up a wormhole. My guess is that it has no mass at all and is a result of volume into an orderly form. I say this because if it had mass than gravity would pull the mass together into the center, obstructing the veiw through space(and time?). but if there was some way that there could be this energy or whatever it is (maybe a form of antimatter that accelerated things through space/time just as matter slows it down) there would be no mass to obstruct other mass or light to pass through.

    think of a ditch, or hole, there is only air in that hole air has more empty space (less mass) and therefore less friction (as opposed to running into a brick wall–lots of friction) and so less friction means that you could go farther or faster with less energy. more mass=more friction – this is why in space, a vacuum, (no mass) things can go on in undisturbed paths without slowing down.

    the higgs boson – which may be a particle that makes up mass – might have an opposite particle or “anti-higgs boson” that may accelerate mass instead of deccelerate it with friction

    this “anti-higgs boson” might be the answer

  43. Gort says:

    There once was a lady called Bright
    Who traveled much SLOWER than light,
    She took off one day
    In the sub C way,
    And returned on the FOLLOWING night

  44. N Stone says:

    this may also explain why some sattelites and space shuttles accelerate slightly without reason
    –look in the “Physics” Section–

  45. Pedro says:

    People!
    I refuse to imagine a world without people thinking of wormholes and other crazy mathematical stuff. I read in an article that, when laser light was invented, the Mathew’s and the Ritchie’s of that time said it was a very much useless invention because they didn’t see any pratical aplication for that thing.
    Laser light useless… yeah… sure it is…

  46. nicky nichols says:

    I found Chrix’s remarks above very intriguing.

    I consider it perfectly realistic that correctly sized wormholes must channel the externally transmitted ELF brainwave patterns generated as a result of the parametric down conversion of internal HF thought processes of intelligent beings elsewhere in this and possibly other universes.

  47. NazB says:

    Worm holes are all around us in the fabric of space, since at the quantum level where there are already many dimensions, threads of zero time run through these dimensions and link them.
    This is why particles can appear anywhere in space time instantly
    How you can make quantum sized wormholes into gigantic ones seems rather intriguing but essentially un-necessary from a physics point of view.

  48. phobos says:

    I dream of wormholes being large enough to be used as “jumps” into other universes. I’m ready to leave this one if another Republican is elected president.

  49. James Ryall says:

    hi,
    heres a little one for you.

    wormholes are made up of a black hole and a white hole, but if you had two black holes meeting in the middle matter would be pushed down infanatly small and super accelerated till it reaches “the middle”.
    at which point to particals of matter would bang together and possibly split at an unimaginable rate.

    if so much matter is pushed together and then split appart again… wate for it…

    another big bang.
    all i have seen on black holes is it sucks matter in. and white holes spew matter out.
    but did any one think of linking the black holes with “other dimentions”…

    sorry for the bad spelling, its not one of my strong points.

    as far as the theroy of black holes go no one knows and theres my theroy.
    beat that for a nice conversation over a pint with the old man.

    regards.
    James Ryall.
    (a 19yr old kid from bristol UK, with an imagination)

    again sorry for the bad spelling…

  50. M Jones says:

    I think N Stones Remarks explain much of the questions that scientists have about these things

  51. dutchartistjelke says:

    Did you know that on our earth there are also wormholes in which people disappear of whom we think that they have been assassinated or have been kidnapped? and that the population of worms in our ground be the largest on earth that they be the best food to eat and that they have so much oil we can use it for energy .
    In space
    Worm holes come througout energy wind circulations in space it ,s like a tornado on earth .

  52. Astronomy says:

    There are several wormholes.I will explain the one where there is a White Hole and Black Hole making up the wormhole. In my point of view, the side with the black hole will suck you in (since black holes suck in matter), and then the white hole side spits you out (since white holes are described to spit out matter).

  53. How to Get Six Pack Fast says:

    The style of writing is very familiar to me. Have you written guest posts for other bloggers?

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