Science News

Is Time Travel Possible Using Wormholes ?

Sat, 25th May 2002

Part of the show What is a Virus and How do Viruses Cause Disease - Stacey Efstathiou

People are fascinated by science fiction and especially the concept of time travel; the success of Back to The Future is testimony to that. But is time travel still only in the domain of science fiction, or are we now closer to making it happen ? Apparently so since the universe is full of 'wormholes' which are like shortcuts across space - if you could work your way through one of them you could end up in a totally different time and place - you'd also effectively be travelling faster than the speed of light. Physicists have known about these wormholes for ages but they never really hit the headlines. That's because it was always thought that the passage of any kind of matter through a wormhole would cause it to collapse, turning it into a black hole and crushing whatever was inside. Another problem is that the wormholes are smaller than the tiniest sub-atomic particles. But now scientists are suggesting that given enough energy you could stop the wormhole collapsing and even widen it. But don't get too excited - it's all pretty hypothetical at the moment - they haven't got as far as sending even the tiniest sub-atomic particle anywhere near a wormhole yet. Oh, and to make a wormhole big enough for a person to fit through, you'd have to convert a mass equivalent to the size of Jupiter !

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