Hello, geek-folk! It’s about time for another Guest Geeks post, and this time I’ve got someone here who’s going to give you a bit more science in your science fiction. His name is Massimo Marino, a fellow sci-fi author who’s got at least one up on me in that this guy has actually worked at CERN. You’ve probably heard of CERN: it’s where they’ve got the Large Hadron Collider, and aside from it being used to help create gods in Zeus Is Dead, they also use it in the real world to do actual science that’s even more interesting!
But Massimo’s here today to talk more about the science of a slightly different topic. I’ll let him take it from here…
Wormholes … or the Einstein-Rosen Bridge
In 1963, Roy Kerr found that if a black hole is rotating it creates a space time singularity in the form of a ring, not a point, and that in principle a particle may be able to fall through the hole instead; the particle may not be lost forever. When this was published, black holes were not believed to exist and therefore the Kerr solution only really developed in the 1970s, after astronomers discovered what seem to be real black holes. – Hawking 1988 and John Gribbin Homepage
There’s no empirical proof that a wormhole can hold its promises, and a computer simulation’s run in 1998 raised doubts in that the computer couldn’t find conditions to keep the wormhole stable, i.e., open.
Less than a year after Einstein had formulated his equations of the general theory, the Austrian Ludwig Flamm realised that a solution to Einstein’s equations described a wormhole connecting two regions of flat spacetime; two universes, or two parts of the same universe. Could, thus, these bridges be used for interstellar travels?
Indeed, Einstein himself, working at Princeton with Nathan Rosen in the 1930s, discovered that the equations represent a black hole as a bridge between two regions of flat space-time, the phenomenon known since then as the “Einstein-Rosen bridge.” Another property of black holes, ignored by everyone except very few top level mathematicians and physicists, is that a black hole always has two “ends,” a black one and a white one, the exit side into another (location of the) universe.
Another problem that the computer simulation revealed is that in order to traverse an Einstein-Rosen bridge from one universe to the other, a traveller would have to move faster than light at some stage of the journey, and that would violate one Einstein himself, unless…
Two researchers at CalTec, Yurtsever and Thorne, found that the equations dictate that in order for an artificial wormhole to be held open, its throat must be threaded by some form of matter, or some form of field, that exerts negative pressure, and antigravity associated with it.
Richard F. Holman, professor of physics at Carnegie Mellon, explained this in an interview with Scientific American. In order to stabilise wormholes opening, quantum fluctuations in various fields might be able to just do that. And the work of many others on the behaviour of quantized fields demonstrated that quantum field effects could indeed hold open a macroscopic wormhole.
Large enough to have a spaceship travel through? It depends; it depends on the amount of energy achievable to create the bridge.
And this closes the loop, as a rotating Kerr black hole might actually be the source.
A vision from 1933 brought the Daimones to visit, study, and decide about the future of the race of men.
ABOUT THE GEEK
Massimo Marino is a scientist envisioning science fiction. He spent years at CERN and The Lawrence Berkeley Lab followed by lead positions with Apple, Inc. and the World Economic Forum. He is also co-founder of “Squares on Blue,” a Big Data Analytics service company, and of BookGarage, a publishing service brokerage company. Massimo currently lives in France and crosses the border with Switzerland multiple times daily, although he is no smuggler.
As a scientist writing science fiction, he went from smashing particles at accelerators at SLAC and CERN to smashing words on a computer screen. He is now an author with Booktrope Publishing, LCC, and Active Member of SFWA – Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.