Scientists hope that spacecraft will be able to transmit messages through the wormhole

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Simulations of these theoretical space tunnels show that wormholes do not close instantly

A spacecraft that sinks into a wormhole (illustrated) never comes back, but in theory it could send video from the other side before the hole closes behind it.

If you ever happen to fall through a wormhole in space, you won’t come back. It will close behind you. But you may have enough time to send the message others on the other hand, report researchers at Physical Review D.

No one has seen it yet wormholes , but in theory they could provide fast routes to distant parts of the universe or to other universes entirely, if they exist. Physicists have long known that one of the most commonly studied types of wormholes will be extremely unstable and collapse if any matter enters it. However, it was unclear how quickly this might happen or what it meant for anything or anyone heading into it.

Now a new computer program shows how one type of wormhole will react when something travels through it.

“You build a probe and send it through” in a wormhole simulation, says Ben Kane, a physicist at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. “You don’t necessarily try to make it come back because you know the wormhole is going to collapse, but can the light signal come back in time before the collapse? And we found that it is possible.”

Previous studies of wormholes have concluded that space passages could potentially remain open for repeated round trips, Kane says, provided they are supported by a form of matter so exotic it’s called “ghost matter.”

In theory, ghost matter responds to gravity in exactly the same way as normal matter. That is, the ghost matter apple will fall from the tree branch up, not down. Although Einstein’s general theory of relativity is granted , ghost matter almost certainly doesn’t exist in reality, Kane says.

However, Kane modeled phantom matter traveling through a wormhole and found that it caused the hole to expand as expected, rather than collapse.

It was a different story with anything made of ordinary matter; Kane’s simulation confirmed that this would trigger a collapse that would close the opening and leave something like a black hole. But this will happen slowly enough that the fast-moving probe can transmit light-speed signals back to our side just before the wormhole closes completely.

Kane doesn’t imagine he’d ever send people through a wormhole if such things were ever found. “Only a capsule and a video camera. It’s all automated,” he says. It will be a one-way trip, “but we can at least get a video of what this device sees.”

This idea should be approached with some skepticism, says physicist Sabina Hossenfelder of the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy. “[Це] requires postulating existence [речей], which, as far as we know, do not exist…. A lot of things you can do mathematically have nothing to do with reality.”

Still, Kane said, it’s a valuable effort that could reveal ways to create wormholes that don’t depend on ghost matter to stay open long enough for us to travel back and forth across the universe or beyond.

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