December 7, 2022
Does the universe have shortcuts to travel in time and space?  - 2022/19/06

Does the universe have shortcuts to travel in time and space? – 2022/19/06

with water shortage and energy, Excess pollution and forests Increasingly threatened, the idea of ​​inhabiting another planet and starting over fits perfectly. The point is that if man has not yet managed to set foot on Mars (It already has a plan for this to happen by 2050)Imagine exploring planets from other solar systems or galaxies.

With no technology available to cover such distances, the solution would be to find a shortcut, or rather “worm hole‘, as shown in MovieInterstellarWritten by Christopher Nolan.

“Wormholes are special ways of bending spacetime in order to connect ‘two events’ through a ‘interval’ smaller than would be possible in flat spacetime,” explains physicist Cassius Anderson de Mello, professor at the Federal University of Alvinas. and Sao Paulo State University (Unesp).

Understand everything that happens in the universe as an “event,” the teacher teaches. The “interval” is a kind of distance between events, but it takes into account not only the spatial distance between them, but also the time in which they occurred.

To try to explain the idea to lay people, physicist Adelson de Oliveira, of the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) suggests that you imagine an elongated tissue, like a towel. Then think of two dots drawn at each end, separated by the entire length of the canvas.

Imagine that something very heavy falls in the middle of the canvas. This will bend that “space,” causing the fabric to bend like a sheet of newspaper. And the points, which were in the end, are now very close to each other.

Using a thick needle, you can make a hole to connect them, making the sharp object a wormhole.

fruit worm

The name given to this structure was thought up because of the fruit worms (“worm” in English can be translated as worm or worm and “hole” means hole).

Like these animals, the space-time traveler eventually, instead of moving on the “apple surface”, would take a shortcut to the other side through a tunnel in his heart. This is what the “Interstellar” characters called to gain access to the planetary system controlled by a black hole Gargantua.

Nolan’s film was shot in partnership with retired Caltech researcher Kip Thorne. Suffice it to say that Thorne was one of the greatest wormhole scientists, and his research was supervised by John Wheeler, the physicist who coined the name in 1957, similar to fruit worms.

Albert EinsteinIn partnership with another scientist, Nathan Rosen, he came to speculate on something similar to what is now called a wormhole, but the topic was not developed.

“Initially, Thorne’s idea was merely to study solutions of cylindrical symmetry; however, after a phone call from Carl Saganwho was writing a fiction book (the famous “Contato”), Thorne realized there was a new theoretical path to explore: how wormholes form, says a professor at the Federal University of Alfenas.

The fact that Thorne helped Nolan makes the film seem realistic from a scientific point of view, even though many of them “holes“It has previously been criticized by experts in the press. But are wormholes possible even if their existence has not been proven?

According to the current concepts of physics, there is nothing to prevent this possibility. Saying it exists is a completely different thing. “The material required for this must have very strange properties, like negative energy, for example,” Milo says.

Thanks to massive particle accelerators, it is now known that it is possible to excite this negative energy very quickly. Keeping an opening enough for someone to pass through is another story.

massive or microscopic

To cause such a deformation of the “fabric” of spacetime, the body must contain a great deal of energy. Adilson de Oliveira comments: “This matter must be different from anything we know here on Earth, or even what we have already observed throughout the universe.”

It is worth clarifying that distortions in spacetime arise all the time due to gravity, as predicted by Einstein. Each of us, like our sun, causes some damage, but it is negligible.

“For big effects, very massive objects like black holes or neutron stars would be needed,” Oliveira says. “But so far, no such object has been directly observed.”

If this exotic material, which would make wormholes habitable, was already present in large quantities and for a long time, it would almost certainly produce an effect that scientists would have already noticed, says the UFSCar professor.

Therefore, physicists love Stephen Hawking We’ve already speculated that if wormholes do exist, they must be microscopic in both space and time, to the point of not producing any significant effects. They will be the same as the flaws found in any type of fabric.

“Large, stable astronomically sized wormholes (the size of a planet or larger) are either nonexistent or so rare that it would be easier for someone to win a Mega Sin ten times in a row (without a maracutaya!); they must also be small and brief so that it does not change any Something we usually notice,” Milo defends. “To say whether this or that will be noticed is too much speculation for a professional scientist.”

You can see that it’s very complicated, and the solution in the movie is that an advanced extraterrestrial civilization was responsible for opening the space-time tunnel. Transferring the “hot potato” to the imagination, it becomes easy to justify the existence of such a deep hole.

* With text by Tatiana Pronin, published in 2015.