16 Январь 2023
The scientific press published several articles about wormholes — tunnels in space-time, through which it is theoretically possible to get to other galaxies and even universes. In particular, scientists report that for the first time they managed to physically fix an area in our Galaxy that looks like a wormhole. And only 1566 light-years away from us — very close by astronomical standards.
Portals between universes
The hypothesis that there may be tunnels in the structure of space-time that allow instantaneous travel over vast distances, travel in time or between parallel universes, was expressed in 1935 by Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen. Later, for these so-called Einstein—Rosen bridges, the American physicist John Archibald Wheeler coined the term "wormholes" (or "wormholes" — wormhole).
Traditionally, a classic wormhole is represented as a three-dimensional pipe in a curved two-dimensional space. This does not contradict the general theory of relativity, but most scientists believe that such tunnels are stable only if they are filled with exotic matter with a negative energy density that creates a strong gravitational repulsion and prevents the burrow from collapsing.
However, there are other opinions. Thus, computer science professor Pascal Quaren from the Higher Normal School of Lyon published calculations according to which exotic matter is not needed for the patency of a wormhole at the level of elementary particles.
Researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid have compiled a complete mathematical description of a wormhole with ordinary fermions, such as electrons and positrons, possessing quantum wave functions and interacting through classical electromagnetic fields. Scientists have shown that wormholes are passable when the ratio of the total charge to the total mass inside it exceeds the theoretical limit applicable to black holes. But these wormholes turned out to be microscopic — a person will not pass through them.
American physicists Juan Maldacena from the Institute for Advanced Studies in New Jersey and Alexey Milekhin from Princeton University proposed a solution based on the Randall-Sundrum model using the apparatus of string theory and describing the world in terms of a deformed five-dimensional spacetime. There, the wormholes turned out to be large enough for a person to travel to a neighboring galaxy in less than a second.
Figure 1 - A wormhole in two-dimensional space. Green is a short way through a wormhole, red is a long way through ordinary space
Wormholes and black holes
It is possible that wormholes exist only at the micro level and are passable only for elementary particles of high energies, but the hope for larger "portals" remains. According to astrophysicists, the entrance to them is similar to an ordinary black hole — it is an area of powerful gravity.
Russian scientists from the Central Astronomical Observatory in Pulkovo also think so. However, they note, the nearest similar object is 13 million light-years away from us.
Recently, Bulgarian physicists from Sofia University compared the probable spectrum of the emitting ring of gas in the gravitational field of the wormhole with the image of polarized light from the accretion disk of a static black hole and found that they are almost identical: the intensity and direction of polarization differ by less than four percent. But when lensing, when light from a distant object is distorted by the gravitational field of a closer body, the polarization from the mouth of a wormhole is almost an order of magnitude greater than from a black hole.
In addition, theoretically, part of the light of the accretion disk from the other side can pass through the wormhole. Matter revolving around a wormhole should behave differently, especially particles that come close to the edge of these objects.
The authors believe that, based on this, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), created specifically for observing black holes, will be able to identify potential "portals". EHT consists of a network of radio telescopes dispersed throughout the Earth. With its help, astronomers obtained in 2019 the first image of a black hole - M87* in the Messier 87 galaxy, and in 2022 — Sagittarius A* in the center of our Galaxy.
The nearest "portal"
It is estimated that there are millions of stellar—mass black holes in the Milky Way - and some may be the mouths of wormholes. It is likely that there are such people somewhere not far from us - by astronomical standards, of course.
Recently, researchers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in the United States and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany reported that they had discovered the closest known black hole. The object, named Gaia BH1, is about ten times the size of the Sun, located 1,566 light-years from Earth. It is possible that this is a wormhole.
A sun-like star orbits Gaia BH1. Usually, in such binary systems, a black hole "feeds" on a star, while emitting powerful X-ray radiation. But this black hole does not pull matter away and does not emit anything. Astronomers conventionally call such mysterious objects "sleeping" black holes. In our Galaxy, such have not been found before.
The discovery was made thanks to the Gaia space telescope, which recorded an additional gravitational effect on one of the stars in the constellation Ophiuchus. The light came only from her. The location and mass of the invisible object were calculated theoretically. Scientists had no doubt that it was a black hole. Later, the existence of Gaia BH1 was confirmed by data from Gemini ground-based telescopes.
Figure 2 is an artistic representation of a wormhole between two universes, each of which has its own time
Schrodinger's Space Cats
According to Australian and Canadian physicists, black holes and wormholes may have properties characteristic of quantum particles. That is, to be both small and large, heavy and light, visible and invisible, like the legendary living and at the same time dead cat from Erwin Schrodinger's thought experiment.
According to quantum theory, subatomic particles exist in several states at once until they interact with the outside world. Any act of measurement or observation puts a particle in one of the stable states. It is likely that it is possible to distinguish a wormhole from a black hole only when diving into it.
Wormholes are, in fact, the only chance for interstellar flights. Therefore, despite all the current fantasticism of wormholes, scientists will continue to deal with them.
Source: RIA Novosti