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Astrophysicist: “White holes” seem to be mathematical fiction, so wormholes won’t work

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Wormhole diagram. Image credit: NASA
Conceptual diagram of wormhole/NASA

Good sci fi, but … From astrophysicist Paul Sutter at Space.com:

The concept of wormholes got its start when physicist Ludwig Flamm, and later Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen, realized that black holes can be “extended.” When one goes about solving the fantastically complicated equations of general relativity, the machinery that predicts a black hole also predicts a phenomenon called a white hole. A white hole is pretty much what you think: Whereas a black hole’s event horizon marks a region of space that once you enter you can’t leave, it’s impossible to enter a white hole’s horizon, although anything already in there can escape.

That same mathematical machinery delivers a bonus, too: All black holes would be naturally “connected” to white holes via their singularities, making a tunnel through space. Woohoo, wormholes here we go!

Or not. While we have gobs of evidence for the existence of black holes, white holes appear to be mathematical fiction. There’s no known process in our universe that would actually form them, and even if they did pop into existence, their natural extreme instability would snuff them right out again. More.

Rats. See also: Did you know? The Milky Way might be a huge, navigable wormhole?

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3 Replies to “Astrophysicist: “White holes” seem to be mathematical fiction, so wormholes won’t work

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    That’s a shame. So no shortcuts to other parts of the Universe like in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine?

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Since when did something being a ‘mathematical fiction’ ever prevent an atheist from believing in it?

    Multiverse, String Theory, Origin of Life, and Evolution are all ‘fictitious’, as far the math is concerned, and yet many atheists believe them anyway since to concede the truth of the matter is to ‘let a divine foot in the door’.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    A ship approaching a black hole would be ripped apart by tidal forces. As for radiation dangers etc, we need not bother.The best option — at least for sci fi — I think is another space that interpenetrates with ours such that in effect points in our own have corresponding “closer” points in that space. Can that be actually so? Well, maybe the theologians have a point when they say “in Him we live and move and have our being.” What an irony if Sci Fi will have to turn to the theology and philosophy of the Eternal to remain plausible! KF

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