It’s a mainstay of science fiction, it’s tiny and doesn’t exist in physical space, but researchers say they’ve created what is, in theory, a wormhole.
Researchers have announced that they simulated two tiny black holes in a quantum computer and transmitted a message between them through what amounted to a tunnel in space-time.
They said that based on the teleported quantum information, a traversable wormhole appeared to have arisen, but no rupture of space and time was physically created in the experiment, according to the study published in the journal Nature on Wednesday.
A wormhole, a rupture in space and time, is considered a bridge between two remote regions of the universe. Scientists refer to them as Einstein-Rosen bridges after the two physicists who described them: Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen.
“It looks like a duck, it walks like a duck, it quacks like a duck. So that’s what we can say at this point: that we have something that, in terms of the properties that we’re looking at, looks like a wormhole,” said physicist and study co-author Joseph Lykken of Fermilab, the Acceleration and Physics Laboratory. of particles from the United States.
Caltech physicist Maria Spiropulu, a co-author of the research, described it as having the characteristics of a “baby wormhole,” and now hopes to make “adult wormholes and toddler wormholes step by step.” The wormhole dynamics were observed in a Google quantum device called the Sycamore quantum processor.
Experts not involved in the experiment cautioned that it was important to note that a physical wormhole had not actually been created, but pointed to future possibilities.
Daniel Harlow, physicist at MIT, told the New York Times the experiment was based on modeling so simple that it could well have been studied with pencil and paper.
“I would say that this teaches us nothing about quantum gravity that we don’t already know,” Harlow wrote. “On the other hand, I think it’s exciting as a technical achievement, because if we can’t even do this (and so far we couldn’t), then simulating more interesting quantum theories of gravity would certainly be off the table.”
The authors of the study themselves made it clear that scientists are still a long way from being able to send people or other living beings through such a portal.
“Experimentally, for me, I’ll tell you it’s a long, long way away. People come to me and ask, ‘Can you put your dog in the wormhole?’ So, no,” Spiropulu told reporters during a video briefing. “…That’s quite a leap.”
Lykken added: “There is a difference between something being possible in principle and actually possible.
“So don’t hold your breath about sending your dog through the wormhole. But you have to start somewhere. And I think it’s exciting to me that we can get our hands on this.”
Such wormholes are consistent with Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which focuses on gravity, one of the fundamental forces of the universe. The term “wormhole” was coined by physicist John Wheeler in the 1950s.
“These ideas have been around for a long time and they are very powerful ideas,” Lykken said. “But in the end, we are in experimental science and we have been struggling for a long time to find a way to explore these ideas in the laboratory. And that’s what’s really exciting about it. It’s not just, ‘Well, wormholes are great.’ This is a way to really look at these fundamental problems of our universe in a laboratory setting.”
Leave a Comment