If Wormholes Exist, This Scientist Says We Just Discovered the Secret to Finding Them
If wormholes exist, we may be one step closer to finding them thanks to a new study authored by Indian physicist Rajibul Shaikh.
According to Shaikh, wormholes cast 'shadows' similar to black holes, which can be spotted by conventional telescopes.
Even better, wormhole shadows may have a distinct shape that makes it possible to tell them apart from black holes: instead of a circular dark spot, they'll create weird, oblong shapes.
It's hypothesized that these shadows will be caused by photons falling into the wormhole and leaving a tiny empty space behind, which creates a spot of darkness. Black holes have been known to create these kinds of shadows for years, and with the help of the globe-spanning Event Horizon Telescope project, we may be able to observe them in greater detail.
If Shaikh is correct, the EHT may also be able to spot wormhole shadows.
Physicists and sci-fi fans have been fascinated with the concept of Einstein-Rosen bridges (also known as wormholes) for years due to their potential to allow faster-than-light travel and maybe even time travel.
Unfortunately, real-life wormhole theories have run into a few problems.
First: We'd have to revise either our current model of gravity or propose a wholly new type of matter to make them work.
Second: Even if they exist, humans probably wouldn't survive passing through a wormhole.
According to Nobel Prize-winning scientist Kip Thorne, "There's a universal mechanism when you are trying to turn a wormhole into a time machine in this way—a universal mechanism that always creates a violent explosion that very likely destroys the wormhole right at the moment when it begins to make time travel possible."
There's also a problem with Shaikh's proposal about wormhole shadows. The only way to know what kind of shape the shadow will take is if we know what kind of matter is keeping the wormhole stable.
Since there's no known type of matter that would make a wormhole possible, we're really working on best guesses. Still, if Shaikh's hypothesis is correct, then we're going to have a lot more to talk about than shadows.