For Science!
5 Faster-Than-Light Travel Methods and Their Plausibility

CJ Miozzi | 18 Jun 2014 19:00
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3. Wormholes

A wormhole, as seen in the Stargate franchise, allows for near-instantaneous travel across vast distances. Wormholes may be naturally-occurring or man-made, but are almost always temporary and serve as tunnels through spacetime.

Imagine our universe as a piece of paper, and an ant walking on that piece of paper as a spaceship. If the ant wants to walk from one end of that piece of paper to the other, the fastest way to do so would be to travel in a straight line. But paper, like space, bends. If you bend the paper into a U shape, the ant's journey goes largely undisturbed - it still has to traverse the same distance along that line. However, in 3D space, the two ends of the paper are very close to each other now. Cut off a piece of a drinking straw and let the ant use it as a bridge or tunnel between the two ends of the paper, and the journey is suddenly much shorter.

Wormhole

Is it plausible?

While we have never directly observed any evidence for one, wormholes are theoretically possible. Albert Einstein and his colleague Nathan Rosen first discovered wormholes in 1935 as solutions to equations within Einstein's general theory of relativity - the math says they can exist.

Since then, other scientists, including Stephen Hawking, have argued that it may be possible to traverse a wormhole, under the right circumstances. The debate surrounding wormholes isn't about their plausibility, but rather how they may be created and sustained.

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