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Something I don't get about Wormholes

  1. Apr 6, 2005 #1
    How would it create a shortcut? It doesn't make sense. Yes, if you drill a hole through the Earth and travel through the hole you will reach the other side of the Earth quicker than if you were to travel on the surface. However, in space there is no surface. Space is space, a 3D plane in which you can go any direction. Whether it be North, South, East, West, Northwest, Southeast, Northeast, Southwest, ect. ect. it would make no difference because you can move in ANY direction in space. So how would a wormhole be effetive in travelling time or traveling to the other side of the universe? Where are we going to drill a hole in empty space? Space is a giant hole in a way. Please explain.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2005 #2


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    Under General Relativity (which is where the concept of wormholes comes from), space (or, I should say "spacetime") is a flexible/warpable thing and not simply a void with 3 directions of motion.
  4. Apr 6, 2005 #3

    Lets use the hole in the earth. From what i understand, you when you step into the opening of the hole in USA, you step out at the same instant in China (it would really land somewhere different i think, but to keep with the joke 'dig a hole deep enought, you will end up in China.').
  5. Oct 18, 2010 #4
    space has 10 dimensions, and a time dimension. So the idea of creating a shortcut does work :D
  6. Oct 19, 2010 #5
    What dimension are we in? :bugeye:
  7. Oct 19, 2010 #6
    all of them.
    Scientists have an idea that their are 3 enlarged dimensions, forward and back, up and down, and left and right. Their is also time.
    But the over dimensions are rapped up in tiny shapes called calibi-yau shapes.
    About the plank size.
    So we only feel the 3 enlarged ones. But we are in eccense in all of them
    Is that ok?
  8. Oct 19, 2010 #7
    Spacetime is not "straight" and dimensions are not "square".
    Shortcuts are all over the place, though they are not all wormholes. If you were to take a path :"straight" to pluto, it would require a lot of time and a lot of rocket fuel. However, Pioneer probes were able to take advantages of shortcuts by doing a "gravitational swing" that would slingshot those probes around massive bodies in our solar system. they took the "real straight path" to Pluto, which is that curved path.

    You can also consider a black hole to be a "time shortcut". If our sun was a large black hole, then we could "swing around it" at such high speed that you could reach the nearest star (4 LY away) in minutes of your time, though everyone on Earth would age 4 years in that time.

    Wormholes are a different topic. When I find one, I'll let you know how it works :)
  9. Oct 19, 2010 #8
    That's an unproven conjecture of String Theory and has not been verified by any experiment. We can only prove 3 spacial and 1 time dimension through experiment.
  10. Oct 20, 2010 #9


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    If extra dimensions are out there, LHC should ferret them out. I doubt that will happen. My apologies to string fans. I would love to be proven wrong.
  11. Oct 21, 2010 #10
    If the LHC doesn't find evidence for string theory it doesn't mean string theory is false. There is a CHANCE that the energy required to produce certain string theory predictions might be a lot lower than we once thought and achieavable by the LHC.
  12. Oct 21, 2010 #11
    Of course, that's the great benefit of a theory with such open possibilities as string theory. There is always at least possibility that remains to be proven false no matter what experiments show.

    What I'd like to see is a single prediction, just one, that everyone in string theory would agree is: a) predicted by the theory, b) would falsify string theory if not found, and c) we might be able to see in the next century.

    Lots of smart serious physicists believe extra dimensions exist, yes. So you are not in bad company if you agree with them.

    However, as I stated earlier, there are no experiments which show any indication of extra dimensions. At this point it is pure conjecture put in place to make a particular theory and its offshoots work. It might be true that these dimensions exist but we have no actual experimental or observational indication that they do. The idea of extra dimensions is pure speculation and conjecture at this point.
  13. Oct 21, 2010 #12
    I find the addition of extra dimensions to make it's offshoots (as you worded it) work to be slightly akin to a set of parameters that need to be manually added to make a model work. I can't seem to remember exactly what it is for some reason though, it isn't any of the 19 parameters of the standard model is it? If any one knows what I'm on about.
  14. Oct 21, 2010 #13


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    Well this thread sure didn't take that shortcut. :biggrin: It took 5 years to get there!
  15. Oct 24, 2010 #14
    You would have to accept that Einstein was right about space and time being some form of fabric and not just an open nothingness. Thus taking in the concept of several and not just a few dimensions. A worm hole would be possible.
  16. Oct 25, 2010 #15
    Worm holes do exist, but they are too small to be identified. Scientist had concluded that space was not smooth and has many holes in them. Take a pool ball. It looks very smooth to the naked eye, but if u were to magnify it, you will notice many holes on their surface. This is the same time. Whenever there is 2 holes in time at the same time, they will connect. However, due to feedback, they could only last for a nano second. All we have to do now is to find a way to enlarge them and keep them on.
  17. Oct 25, 2010 #16
    We can only 'see' 3 spacial dimensions and 1 time dimension thanks to our relative view of the universe. How do we see or perceive these dimensions? Cells. Cells carry out their functions via molecules. Molecules carry out their functions via atoms. Atoms carry out thier funtions via electrons, nucleons. They carry out their functions via the various leptons, mesons, baryons, quarks etc. How are their processes simultaneously connected?

    The dimension of space or an object is informally defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify each point Within it.
    Wormholes are compact regions of spacetime which boundary is topologically trivial but whose interior is not simply connected.
    With the LHC and other such things we know that many mesons are made in high energy collisions, so they exist naturally somewhere in between the atomic nucleus and the surrounding electrons to mediate the forces as force carriers to and fro through everyday molecular interactions.
    This atom reminds me something that has an interior which is not simply connected. Or a cell, which has an internal evironment which is not simply connected. Even the earth's creates it's own internalized topological environment redirecting the bombarding radiation from the sun via magnetic field; which we have much to speculate on how we are alive to observe these amazing phenomena possibly as force carriers ourselves. Thinking of relativistic time dilation and such.

    "Conjecture is contrasted by hypothesis, which is a testable statement based on accepted grounds."
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  18. Oct 25, 2010 #17
    Just a question. If space did have 10+1 dimensions why can't we at least feel the 10 dimensions even if we can't see them? I mean, if an object exists in and occupies space then it must exist in and occupy ALL dimensions of space right? Even if we call a piece of paper as a 2 dimensional object we call it so only because its height is negligible (and not zero).
  19. Oct 25, 2010 #18


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    Think of an ant walking along a garden hose. The garden hose is the ant's 2-dimensional world. Very long in length, but very short in width (circumference). He has complete freedom of movement, but his sojourns to left or right will very quickly bring him back to zero in the circumferential dimension.

    The ant decides to walk stright, but his path is not exactly along the length of the garden hose; it is off by one degree, (i.e. he traces out a helix). He passes through this 2D space, completing one journey though the circumferential dimension every few feet before he comes back around to the top again.

    Now, that's fine of the garden hose's circumferential dimension is macroscopic (say, an inch), but what if it is very very small - smaller than an atom? For all the ant knows, he is walking straight along a one-dimensional wire.

    Note that the ant is indeed still passing freely through both length and circumferential dimensions, he just has no experience of one of them because its too small to have any effect on his motion.
  20. Oct 26, 2010 #19
    I've always thought that is a terrible analogy.

    It doesn't even begin to explain more than three dimensions. Just because you can't see something clearly from a distance is in no way comparable to it being in another dimension.
  21. Oct 26, 2010 #20
    We still only know of three dimensions.

    Many physicists reject the idea of more than three dimensions (and string theory) because it has no proof whatsoever.
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