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Wormholes for dummies

  1. Jan 24, 2009 #1
    I want to know, seeing as space-time is supposed to be curved and a wormhole bisects that curve, whether the curve is like half of a perfect circle. So for example, if there was a wormhole between the sun and alpha centauri, and the distance between them is about 4.3 light years, could you figure out the wormhole distance by multiplying 4.3 by 2, and then dividing the total by pi? Or is the space-time curve more variable, like half of an ellipse?

    As you can probably tell, I'm not a scientist. I just want to know.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 24, 2009 #2
    I don't know the answer; but, my guess is that the two ends of the wormhole are like the poles of a bar magnet and the "space-time curvature" would be like the magnetic flux lines. Then, the curvature would be "circular" when the distance between the two ends is VERY short compared to the circumference of the circle, i.e., the wormhole is a point on the circle.
  4. Jan 28, 2012 #3
    You seems to be laboring under a total misconception of the way that wormholes work. Imagine a doorway connecting San Francisco and Paris. When you enter the doorway, you travel through a hallway, and eventually emerge in a different city. The length of the hallway -- what I think you're calling the "wormhole distance"-- depends on the characteristics of the wormhole. For some wormholes the distance is zero -- i.e you travel from San Francisco to Paris in one step. Or the distance could be 10 feet, or 10 miles, or 100 miles, or even a million miles (in which case the wormhole is not a shortcut). It all depends on the distributions of negative-energy matter and positive-energy matter in the wormhole.

    Source: The Physics of Stargates -- Parallel Universes, Time Travel, and the Enigma of Wormhole Physics, by Enrico Rodrigo (2010)
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