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Science, Math, & Technology


Posted Over 1 Year ago by chiarizio

The following objections have been made to the usefulness of wormholes in FTL travel. Some of them also would be problems for FTL communication via wormholes.

  • If wormholes exist, they all must have been created along with the universe as a whole. Using wormholes would require finding them; generating one in a convenient place or time would be theoretically impossible. Odds are not many of them would be fit for most purposes.

  • If a wormhole exists, it can’t be wider than to accommodate a single proton. That would prohibit any freight or cargo or passenger vessel, or even a mail envelope, from going through in useful form. Possibly photons could, though, so FTL communication between one end and the other might be possible. (It’s just unlikely that anyone at either end would want to say anything to anyone at the other, nor hear anything the other end would want to say.: because of the previous objection!)

  • If a wormhole existed, it would immediately and permanently “close up” once a single nucleon or hadron or baryon, such as a proton, made it through. The same might be true of mesons, or leptons such as electrons; or maybe even massless photons! Anyway that would make it useless for putting through ordinary material objects. But if photons, or even electrons, could make it through without destroying the wormhole, maybe signals could be communicated through one.


    A wormhole that was for some reason (inconsistent with current theory, as far as I know) immune to the second and third objections above, would be called “traversable”.
    But it would still probably be true that GENERATING traversable wormholes, at a useful or convenient time, from and/or to a convenient or useful place, would be impossible, except while creating the universe — or, except while the universe is being created.


    Even for communicating signals FTL via wormholes, causality would be violated if one could be used for two-way communication. Or even if a pair of wormholes, one in each direction, were situated so that each one’s input end were close enough to the other’s output end, that a message could be sent and the reply received before the message was sent. So if two wormholes in opposite directions have the input end of one of them close to the output end of the other; their other ends would have to be far enough apart that a message couldn’t make the round trip in less than subluminal time.


    A story could be written in which one or more wormholes just happen to have been conveniently placed at creation!

  • There are 3 Replies

    I don’t think this is back in Math Sci Tech yet!
    Or Worldbuilding either!
    Am I wrong?

    Over 1 Year ago

    the first objection (wormholes can be created only while the universe is being created)
    the third objection (once a baryon (hadron?) traverses a wormhole, the wormhole “closes up” and ceases to exist)
    actually logically consistent with each other?

    Over 1 Year ago

    I want to use this.
    Either finding a wormhole useful for messaging;
    Or finding a traversable wormhole;
    Or creating a wormhole useful for messaging;
    Or creating a traversable wormhole;
    Would all be history-altering epochal events!

    7 Months ago

    Reply to: wormholes