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Writer with Quantum Physics Questions, please help!

  1. Apr 25, 2012 #1
    I am a young adult writer, and my current WIP involves parallel universes. My main character is from another universe.

    I have read about worm holes and black holes. Quite frankly, just when I think I am beginning to remotely comprehend I hit another brain cramp. I realize this is all theoretical.

    My questions:
    What sort of technology would his universe have to have to be able to penetrate our universe?

    What could put off enough energy to create a small black hole?

    How could they come through without pulverizing themselves?

    Faraday cages of some sort?

    Do you think they would be disoriented for a couple of days?

    What about a time warp?

    How long could they hold the black hole open, assuming they have whatever energy it is they need being advanced?

    Is it plausible that something catastrophic in our universe could effect another? I hope this is theoretically possible, since it is integral to my plot.

    Once here, they cause an EMP on a large enough scale to wipe out every power grid. What would they have to do to pull that off? It needs to be something that does not hurt the planet.

    Thank you for your time, and I really do appreciate any information you can give.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2012 #2


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    Welcome to PhysicsForums, trishwriter!

    There really are no good answers to your questions, as most of these ideas are speculative. We don't know anything about access to other universes (since we don't know if there are any). There is no real concept that you can create wormholes or hold a black hole open or anything like that. So feel free to exercise your powers of imagination! :smile:

    The idea of a person from another universe might base itself on what is called the Many Worlds Interpretation. Perhaps there is some overlap between these parallel universes which is temporary or accidental or something.

    Maybe a couple of others can throw in their 2 cents on a few of your plot ideas.
  4. Apr 25, 2012 #3
    I am not an astrophysicist, but based on these ideas I guess you will be heading more to the fiction side than science.

    There were some lunatics worrying that high-energy particle collisions at the LHC would produce mini-black holes. That did not happen, at least none were detected.

    In principle, once one has a black hole, then feeding it some mass should make it grow. Left unattended it should loose energy (and thus mass) through Hawking radiation until it becomes to light and stops being a black hole. The technician running the BH would call that a white-out :-). So you have to feed it just right. Too much and it becomes too big to handle (and eats up your planet, your car and your dog), too little and it collapses. Somewhat like a nuclear reactor. Not enough neutrons and the chain reaction dies out, too many and you got a runaway reaction leading to meltdown or a bomb in the worst case. The BH would emit Hawking radiation all the time and I imagine it would be very hungry for energy.

    Getting into the BH is not a problem as long as your travellers don't mind being smashed into a pulp. Coming back out on the other side (in one functional piece or otherwise) is more tricky. Some creative fiction is called for.

    In SF, you could link the two BH together, opening and closing the holes simultaneously in both universes. You could imagine a catastrophic failure of the BH stabilization mechanism that turns a huge, heavy BH instantaneously into a lot of radiation, frying everything nearby. in both universes (All fiction, as far as I know).

    Nuclear bomb produce very nice EMFs. Explode 60 or 100 nuclear bombs high up in the atmosphere distributed around the planet and you get a global blackout. Brute force, but effective and not even very high-tech.

    More SF-like, make them trigger a supermassive solar storm that would fry everything starting from satellites (GPS, phone) down to the power grid. As a bonus you get polar lights to turn the night into day as far away from the poles as your plot requires.

    Worm holes I know nothing about. Sorry.
  5. Apr 26, 2012 #4
    For a book covering exactly these matters, written by one of the leading researchers in the field but specifically for non scientists try K Thorne 'Black Holes and Time Warps, Einsteins Outrageous legacy'

    Hope this helps


  6. Apr 26, 2012 #5


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    I second this recommendation.
  7. Jul 11, 2012 #6
    when i worked on developing a universe where it was possible to slip into other universes i simply made up my own theory which was to "shift the base nuclear field spectrum of the transferring ship", which put the ship into the universe that corresponds to that spectrum. it sounded good. certainly as good as folding space or transparent aluminum or light sabers that are a rigid beam of light. take some liberties and give it some rules and stick to those rules. as long as you are consistent you'll be alright.
  8. Jul 11, 2012 #7
    Different universes have different constants, different laws of physics. So go wild. It's your story, you make the laws of physics!

    You do realize that our laws of physics only apply to our universe? Create your own laws, it's your story!

    You decide.

    Go wild!

    Do what you want!

    Use your imagination!

    An EMP is highly unlikely to hurt the planet. Mostly, it just screws with electronics. As for what you'd have to do, you can go wild. It's your story.
  9. Jul 11, 2012 #8


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    None of this is really Quantum Physics. Though, Quantum Physics does have Many Worlds Interpretation, the worlds of that interpretation are fundamentally incapable of interacting with each other. The only way you could travel between quantum many worlds is if Quantum Mechanics is slightly wrong. Which is definitely a possibility, but we have absolutely no indication of it, and anything anyone could say about that would be as good as anything you just make up.

    The other place parallel worlds show up is in General Relativity. This is where wormholes come in, because that is a GR concept. Our space-time is a manifold. For simplicity, you can think of it as a 4-dimensional sheet of stretchy fabric that's been pulled and bent at certain places by massive objects. It might also be pulled into some funny overall shape by other constraints. Well, you might ask, if there is one, could there be others? We don't know. We have no way to even make a good guess on that. But we also know of absolutely no reason why not. Well, can we bridge them together? This is where things get very, very complicated.

    First of all, assuming there are other space-time manifolds, we don't know where they are. In fact, there doesn't even have to be a where, since space, as we understand it, is belongs only to our own space-time. Is there some external space? Maybe. Maybe not. So that's a problem right there. But that's not even the biggest problem. The biggest problem is that we have no known mechanism for altering topology of space-time. Let me explain it to you in simpler terms. Say you have a sheet of fabric. You want to travel to another sheet of fabric, but you can only travel through the fabric itself. To make it possible, you must cut both sheets, put them together along the cut, and stitch them together. As far as we know, this just doesn't happen.

    So is the concept of world-to-world travel dead based on that? Well, no. It is entirely possible that wormholes connecting the worlds already exist. If they've been there since beginning of time, they could in principle be quite numerous in the universe, and corresponding black holes could be quite light. So your main options are either saying that a method for "cutting/stitching" space-time is found, explanation for which would be entirely made up. Or you can say that you are using pre-existing wormholes which you modify to make them suitable for travel. In that case, you are still making stuff up, but you are doing so within existing theory.

    Finally, as far as going through wormholes. That's a tricky one. The wormholes you can pass through are known as traversable wormholes. Tidal forces are still present in traversable wormhole, but they are finite, and can be made arbitrarily small. You dan make it safe to travel through in a small, sturdy ship. At least, in theory. There is another problem here. There are no known traversable wormhole configurations that do not require negative energy densities. In simpler terms, you need something with negative mass to keep a wormhole open and traversable. It might be that a configuration not requiring has not been discovered yet. It might be that you'd actually have to come up with negative mass. Either way, if you are writing hard science fiction about wormholes, you have to account for that somehow.

    If you are after hard science fiction, multiple universes are a very difficult topic to cover. On one hand, a lot is unknown, and you have some freedom there. On another, there are a lot of very treacherous constraints, which if you simply ignore, you might as well be writing a space opera.
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