Sunday, 6 November 2016

Physicist proves wormhole travel might be possible

An MIT physicist has given hope to the prospect of distant space travel, thanks the theory of entanglement.

Just to get to our nearest neighbouring star system, Alpha Centauri and the recently discovered and potentially habitable Proxima B, would take 4.37 light years, or about 25 trillion miles. Of course, if you could travel at the speed of light that would only take 4.37 years, but that's not going to happen. Quora has a good rundown of how long it would take at different speeds.

Russian exploratory company Breakthrough Initiatives reckons it can fly a miniscule nanocraft powered by laser beams to Proxima B in only 20 years. But at the speed of the fastest recorded manmade object ever (Helios 2 as it swung by the sun), it would take more than 4000 years. Neither would be suitable for manned travel.

But the weird world of wormholes might provide an answer, thanks to entanglement.

Essentially, entanglement involves two particles, each occupying multiple states at once – a condition referred to as superposition. For example, both particles may simultaneously spin clockwise and counterclockwise. But neither has a definite state until one is measured, causing the other particle to instantly assume a corresponding state.

The resulting correlations between the particles are preserved, even if they reside on opposite ends of the universe.

Now Julian Sonner has found that, looked at through the lens of string theory, the creation of two entangled quarks – the building blocks of matter – simultaneously gives rise to a wormhole connecting the pair – effectively creating a shortcut through the universe.

There are a lot of dots to connect before it means we can travel through wormholes, but the research proves it might be possible – at least in theory.

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