Artist impression of what it could look like when entering a wormhole (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:FY221c15.png)

Can a Wormhole Generate its Own Magnetic Field?

Article Updated: 26 Apr , 2016

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Wormholes are a strange consequence of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. These “shortcuts” through the fabric of space and time may link two different locations in the universe; they may even connect two different universes together. This also leads to the possibility that wormholes can allow travel between two points in time. These strange entities have provided science fiction stories with material for many years, but there is credible physics behind wormholes. Now it seems that in theory slowly-rotating wormholes may be able to generate their own magnetic field. Could this be used to detect the presence of wormholes in our observable Universe?

In a previous Universe Today article, I found some interesting research about the possibility of observing a wormhole using sensitive radio telescopes. What’s more, an observer may be able to see the light from another part of the Universe that has travelled along the wormhole and then emitted through the wormhole’s mouth. An observer could expect to see a bubble-like sphere floating in space, with emitted light intensifying around the rim.

In a publication last month, Mubasher Jamil and Muneer Ahmad Rashid from the National University of Sciences and Technology in Pakistan investigates the properties of a slowly rotating wormhole and the effect this would have on a surrounding volume of space. Their calculations assume a cloud of charged particles (i.e. electrons) are gravitationally attracted to the entity, and as the wormhole rotates, it drags the cloud of electrons with it. This approach had already been carried out when considering the effects of a slowly rotating compact star on surrounding stellar plasma.

A graphic of the structure of a theorized wormhole (NASA)

This gravitational effect is known as “frame-dragging”. As the wormhole is predicted to have a gravitational influence on the space surrounding it, Einstein’s general relativity predicts that space-time will be warped. The best way to visualize this is to imagine a heavy ball on an elastic sheet; the ball causes the sheet to stretch downward, in a cone-shape. If the ball is spun on the sheet, friction between the ball and elastic will cause the sheet to distort in another way, it will begin to twist out of shape. If you apply this idea to space-time (the elastic sheet), and you have a slowly rotating wormhole (the ball), distortions in space-time will have a dragging effect on the surrounding particles, causing them to spin with the wormhole.

This is where Jamil and Rashid’s paper steps in. If you have a rotating mass of charged particles, a magnetic field may be generated (as a consequence of Maxwell’s equations). Therefore, in theory, a slowly-rotating wormhole could have its own magnetic field as a consequence of the electromagnetic field set up by the motion of charged particles.

So could a wormhole be detected by instrumentation? That depends on the magnitude of the warping of space-time a rotating wormhole has on local space; the smaller the wormhole, the smaller the density of rotating charged particles. As theorized natural wormholes are expected to be microscopic, I doubt there will be a large magnetic field generated. And besides, you’d have to be very close to the mouth of a wormhole to stand the chance of measuring its magnetic field. The possibility of detecting a wormhole may remain in the realms of science-fiction for a while yet…

Source: arXiv preprint server


26 Responses

  1. GreenLantern says:

    I just happened to catch the movie Contact on TV today, and I had wormholes on my mind. Then I ran across this article. Knowing about the vast distances and times in our universe and then thinking about the possibility of shortcuts is really intriguing to me.

  2. Martijn says:

    In the article is written that it is theoretically possible to see light from another part of the unverse.
    I always thought that with a wormhole, you could go to the center of the wormhole but not through the center. So would the light not remain in the center of the wormhole?

  3. Tony Trenton says:

    Rotation is a consequence of turbulence & a necessary natural part of any singularity including wormholes.

    Singularities crush everything out of existence & are no place to be if you want to survive.

    Theoretically entering a wormhole mouth means exiting your event horizon & your local time. The wormhole will have its own time line which is moving relative to all others . So there would be no way to return to your original time line & or event horizon.
    It would be a one way trip however you looked at it.

  4. Hunnter says:

    Tony mentions some of what i was going to mention, i always thought that enterting a wormhole would be near impossible.

    Just imagine how dangerous it would be going near to the suns surface.
    While it would be survivable with the correct equipment, i can’t imagine how it would be done with a blackhole, unless we actually do build a FTL drive of some kind, which then defeats the main reason for the wormholes…
    But that could still cause problems too, so perhaps a lovely time machine of some sort on board would be nice too =)

  5. neoguru says:

    The ol’ “ball on a rubber sheet” analogy to describe space-time. They’re using gravity to describe a gravitational phenomenum. Then they use invalid assumptions about other dimensions that by definition can never be shown to exist. Can’t we just deal with reality? Ya figure there’s really 11 dimensions, some microscopically thin? It’s all a dream within a dream. Has physics really come to this?

  6. rogueweapon says:

    yes and no.

  7. Jon Hanford says:

    Rotation is a consequence of turbulence & a necessary natural part of any singularity including wormholes.Singularities crush everything out of existence & are no place to be if you want to survive.I think Tony & others are on the right track but I question his ‘singularity’ comments in light of string-brane theory & its abhorrence of singularities. also concur with others that only ‘information’ may be transmitted, possibly at hyperlight speed (via entanglement?) through a rotating Wormhole.

  8. bob says:

    neoguru,

    The metaphor being used to describe spacetime curvature is old but not completely unuseful. The solar system model of the atom given to us by Rutherford and modified by Bohr is incorrect but still useful to scientists in chemistry and biology. It just doesn’t work in astrophysics and particle physics.

    The reality of spacetime curvature can be realized without sheets. Rain drops falling from the roof of an apartment building or a water fall serve a good example. Since they won’t reach terminal speed, you will measure the rate at which any two drops separate and you come up with 9.8 meters/sec^2.

    Dimensions can be inferred in our particle accelerators if a violation of conservation is realized. Leakage from other dimensions to here would be suggested by a violation with an increase while leakage from here to another would suggest leakage from here to another dimension. Violations in the inverse square law of light in particle accelerator experiments would also suggest leakage.

  9. bob says:

    Sorry, my last statement should have illustrated that a conservation violation showing a decrease in energy outputs would suggest leakage from these 3 dimensions to another.

  10. Tissa Perera says:

    On the physical limitations of gravity.

    My web publication at cosmicdarkmatter.com

    Gives a hint on the physical limits on the mechanics of gravity.
    Einstein reformulated Newton’s gravity in a very elegant geometrical
    concept of space time. Others then followed through to find solutions
    to his equations taking the arguments to extraordinary extremes and
    created objects like black holes, singularities and worm holes etc.

    Nobody to date have given any notice to the possibility that nature may
    abhors infinities. It makes sense to me that no force of nature is limitless.
    I have found the limitations on gravitational force and inertial forces in
    a simple concept within the framework of Einstein’s space and matter.

  11. Astrofreak says:

    Thanks for your informative article. Tell me again, where have we ever observed a “wormhole.” Oops, I 4got, you know they exist but our instruments aren’t powerful enough yet to actually detect one.

  12. Maxwell says:

    For thousands of years men stared at the sky, thinking of it only in images…. Then, with the discovery of radio waves and some science, we learned that it could be heard as much as it could be seen.

    While I’m no fan of “runaway math”, right now its an important tool in visualizing the things we don’t yet have a means to detect.

  13. Stephen says:

    I love the way people grab onto a theory and so very quickly start to talk as though it’s a reality. The original theory that was written to explain the possibility of wormholes went to great length to also describe why the same set of calculations prove why they could not exist.
    Why do you think they left that part out?

  14. Bridh Hancock says:

    This thoughtery is the start of something, and perhaps of something BIG. We will sample even less of the matter-energy of the universe to arrive at the possibilities of possibilities.

    What of those 8 or so other dimensions, all smaller than an electron, and what of these wormholes? Are there similarities? Do they extend vastly through galaxies and into the roaring heart of the BigBang? How do they relate to DarkMatter and D-Energy?

    One point I wish to make is: a ‘consequence of Einstein’s theory of general relativity’ is a hypothesis based on this theory, and not an actuality. There are no wormholes–not yet. We may now consider what is theorised up until those who have learned declare a revision of reality based on their findings.

  15. ed says:

    Speculative nonsense.

  16. Aodhhan says:

    To me the worm hole theory fails due to the fact there must be a ‘rip’ in two sides of the fabric.

    Also, given the distances between the top and bottom layer, there would need to be an immense amount of gravity involved in order to maintain structure.

    Still the tendency would likely not be to maintain a nice cylindrical column of space between the two layers, but a widening of the lumen space resulting in a very long and deep ‘crater’ in the fabric of space-time itself.

    Lastly, we have to remember the universe is not stateless. It is constantly changing, objects moving, etc. Space time fabric must be expanding and growing. Another problem in maintaining a stable colum to pass through.

  17. Dave S says:

    Worm holes are inventions of science fiction folks who needed a way to move through the universe in some reasonable amount of time. Falling into a black hole effectively puts you into a different universe.

  18. Victor Sheckels says:

    Jerry//Fool:

    Do you realize the ads in question are from the Googlesyndication.com server and are not under the control of Universe Today, and that, indeed, the sponsor of Universe Today would then be Google and not whoever wrote or is marketing that book?

    Feel free to take offense if “turning the other cheek” is an article of your faith that you feel doesn’t apply to you, but please point it where it belongs and don’t pollute this site with your ramblings.

    My apologies to you folks at UT for my own rather useless addition here.

  19. David S says:

    “Then they use invalid assumptions about other dimensions that by definition can never be shown to exist. Can’t we just deal with reality?”

    Not everything is testable, and it will probably remain that way. That doesn’t make it invalid, just that our tests for it are inadequate. Assuming we even had tests, and we don’t. But that’s our inability and has no reflection on what the state of reality might actually be.

    To think that all we know is all there is to reality is quite naive and presumptuous. We learn new things all the time, some unexpected, and that’s what science is all about.

  20. David S says:

    “While I’m no fan of “runaway math”, right now its an important tool in visualizing the things we don’t yet have a means to detect.”

    Exactly my point.

    “Oops, I 4got, you know they exist but our instruments aren’t powerful enough yet to actually detect one.”

    It’s got nothing to do with being powerful enough. You can’t detect something that you don’t understand well enough to figure out a method of detection!

    You can’t “see” radio waves, yet they are all around us. How did we discover radio? By accident. How did we discover X-rays? By accident. Yeah, we know a lot more than we did then, but we don’t know everything.

  21. Jerry says:

    Victor Sheckels,

    You are a wiser man when you remember Christians are your neighbors and collogues. If you want to quote Jesus please learn what other things He also said such as: “If you don’t own a hand-sword sell your coat and buy one.” You see my friend, He did not intend his disciples to keep turning their cheeks otherwise He wouldn’t have mentioned the little-matter about the hand sword. You see, a man only has two cheeks, if he turns them twice he has proven his peaceful motives and humility. When the blow comes the third time he is well within his right to defend himself even as the Torah allows. Rabbi Yeshua has a lot to teach all of us. Also, Victor, thank you for filling me in about the Google ads. My apology to Universe Today: My moral outrage was misdirected. Peace.

  22. Ry says:

    I was wondering if anyone could tell me what hyper-light speed would be, (as mentioned by someone here earlier).
    Additionally, if the speed of light is fixed, and as I have heard, nothing can travel faster than the speed of light does this apply to something that is even marginally faste? Does something traveling a second faster than the speed of light run into itself in some time loop, or what is the precedent for knowing the limitations/consequences for faster than light travel?

  23. Peter K says:

    Why do so many of you get upset with theoretical physics?
    It’s funny that so many folks interested in science still have no ability to add imagination to the equation.
    And thanks Bob, for that super-easy-to-understand session on dimensional detection! I feel illuminated! Really.
    And Ry, hyper light speed is anything from c to c x infinity. No one said you couldn’t travel faster than the speed of light, only that you can’t get from one side of it to the other. As in, speeding up from 0 will never get you there because mass and therefore inertia increase toward the speed of light. Maybe mass decreases on the other side (???)

  24. Victor Sheckels says:

    Jerry:

    I apologize for my own rudeness; yes, I do need to learn to be a bit more polite to my Christian neighbors. Thank you for pointing out that comment by Jesus (or whatever his actual name might have been; you’re probably the first Christian I’ve heard give any effort at using his real name).

    My hostility comes mostly from the fact that I’ve spent quite a few years arguing with fundies who don’t seem to get that half of the crap they say would probably have got Jesus himself going medieval on their asses because their words are insulting to God and humanity both. A lot of times they start out with some laughable moral outrage and then proceed to say some truly ignorant–and annoying–things. I often make the mistake of launching preemptive strikes when I sense something like that coming around.

    Since I am not intending to hunt you down and smack you on the cheek, I don’t believe this discussion would call for a hand sword. Indeed, even if I did you would have at least four cheeks you could get smacked on before you had to resort to stabbing. 🙂

    Argument about what Jesus said, in the end, is really rather useless IMHO, because I doubt we would ever agree on what authority his words have, or the accuracy of the record of them.

    Peace.

  25. Ry says:

    Totally unrelated, but I would just like to hear anyones thoughts on why people believe in God.

  26. Bridh Hancock says:

    God and Jesus tell us that God is, and that the universe is an example of His work. For the last 2 thousand years, approx, He offers to put His Holy Spirit into those who will repent, be baptised and seek this gift of God. That is my story, too, and if He had not filled me with His Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues, then I would probably be wondering, as you do. I hope that helps. There are scriptures in Old and New Testaments to support my claim, and my claim is based on them.

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